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i«M>* wi "w nc»w i" t"« 


Rome and the We^L 

- -DAVIS -^^ri^TH?^^ 




President White LfBRARY 
Cornell University 

16 'l\i 

l/rt I 


4Pf?l4 194 J 

l^OV 3 1949 J 



3 1924" 088 053 032 

Cornell University 

The original of tliis book is in 
tlie Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 











Boston NeljJ ^orft Chicago 




J. B. CuBhlng Co. — Berwick & Smith Co. 
Norwood, Mass., U.S.A. 


This book aims to set before students beginning the study 
of Ancient History a sufficient amount of source material to 
illustrate the important facts mentioned in every good text- 
book. There is also a clear intent to give the reader some 
taste of the notable literary flavor pervading the histories 
of Greece and Eome. It is a distinct loss of an opportunity 
to pass from the study (e.g.) of the Roman Emperors and 
to read no typical passages of Tacitus. This compilation 
has been prepared for constant use along with some stand- 
ard text-book, and various matters of marked historical 
importance, as the Servian Constitution of Rome, have been 
deliberately omitted, because most school histories state the 
fact sufficiently well, and little is added by reproducing the 
arid statements in Livy. On the other hand, many tales 
have been included, like the story of Horatius at the Bridge 
or of Cincinnatus called from the Plow, which condensed 
histories may well slight but which afford refreshing illus- 
trations of the ancient life or the ancient viewpoint. 

Comparing the compass of this work with the wide extent 
of available literature, it is evident that a very large num- 
ber of desirable passages have been perforce omitted. There 
are practically no quotations from Cicero, because Cicero is 
a .writer many students will earn a passing acquaintance 
with in the schools; again, certain highly significant pas- 
sages are omitted, because they are quoted in so many 
school histories. There are no quotations from many of 


the poets, because the tragedians and lyricists were, after 
all, poets and not historians. The compiler has been forced 
continually to exercise his best judgment. He is entirely 
aware how fallible that judgment may have been. 

To meet the requirements for a work covering the Old 
Orient and the Early Middle Ages (to 800 a.d.) sections 
have been added covering these topics, but no attempt has 
been made to have them so long as the chapters relating 
strictly to Greece and Rome. Even for the "classical" 
history itself, far more material came to hand for some 
periods than for others. Desirable selections for the First 
Age of Rome are scanty, while again readings on the First 
Century of the Empire come in bewildering profusion. .As 
a rule, however, those epochs for which one has the most 
material are, in turn, the best worth studying, and no apol- 
ogy is made for the lack of proportion in the length of some 
of the chapters. 

This volume has been prepared for immature students: 
it is therefore stripped of the learned notes, citations, refer- 
ences, etc., which are rightly demanded by the erudite. 
The notes and introductions have a single end in view, — 
to make the selections comprehensible to readers with little 
experience in Ancient History problems. Out of consid- 
eration for this audience, also, the pages have not been dis- 
figured by frequent indications of omission, where passages 
of the ancient writer have been stricken out in the interests 
of brevity. In every ease, however, where, to facilitate con- 
densation, words not of the original author have been sub- 
stituted, they are always inclosed in brackets [ ], to guard 
against misconception. 

In compiling a work of this. kind a great number of trans- 
lations have been put under requisition. In many cases 
these have been diligently compared with the originals, and 
often such' alterations have been made in the wording as to 
render the present author largely responsible for the form 


here given. This is entirely the case (except with Plutarch) 
where the translation appears without being ascribed to any 
particular translator. The translations from Plutarch may 
be generally acknowledged here as always being taken from 
the version of Dryden (revised by Clough). Considerable 
use has been made, as duly noted, of the familiar Bohn 
Library translations, but these often offend by their inele- 
gant and overliteral following of the text, and, as a conse- 
quence, are most unsatisfactory guides for English readers. 
In many cases what amounts to a new 'translation has been 
prepared. To the various authors and publishers of copy- 
righted books from which excerpts are taken, who have 
generously given permission to copy, all thanks are here 
extended. Specific acknowledgments are due here to the 
History Department of the University of Pennsylvania for 
matter taken from their " Historical Reprints " ; to Dr. 
Horace White for excerpts from his "Appian"; to Profes- 
sor F. W. Kelsey for extracts from his edition of Mau's 
" Pompeii " ; to Professor G. H. Palmer for his " Hymn of 
Cleanthes " ; and to the friends of the late Professor H. B. 
Poster for the use of his " Cassius Dio." 

The dates given in the running headlines are often 
highly approximate, especially for the earlier periods of 
history; and should not be memorized without careful 
comparison with the text and with various standard 

In the preparation of this work the compiler has received 
generous assistance from many quarters, but particularly 
from Professor W. M. West of the University of Minnesota, 
who, besides writing the Introduction, has at all times given 
most friendly counsel out of a wide, practical experience, 
and who has afforded active assistance upon the work both 
during its inception and its final development. Hearty 
thanks are also due to Mr. Richard A. Newhall, formerly 
Assistant in History in the University of Minnesota, who 


went over the entire manuscript most faithfully, checking 
up all important references and otherwise making it useful 

to historical students. 

W. S. D. 
The Universitt of Minnesota, 
Minneapolis, Minnesota, 
December, 1912. 


De. Davis has placed high school teachers of history 
under an obligation which they will be quick to recognize. 
This book takes rank by itself. There are excellent " source 
books " in Greek and Roman history adapted to their own 
valuable work. But this is not a source book, in the usual 
sense. Fitly, it calls itself Readings. It unfolds a pano- 
rama of ancient life — etched, drawn, painted, caricatured, by 
contemporaries. No great phase of that life is neglected, 
and I take this opportunity to testify my special delight in 
the attractive presentation of two important epochs often 
slighted, — the Hellenic World after Alexander and the Ro- 
man Imperial World. It was a happy adaptation of work- 
man to work that persuaded Dr. Davis to this task. His' 
instinct for dramatic story and striking situation, and his 
faultless literary sense, have never, I believe, served better 
use. The boy or girl who once gets hold on the volume is 
sure to breathe in more of the atmosphere of the ancient 
world than from any possible study of a conventional text- 
book. Indeed, the Readings will lend needed light and 
color to any text-book. In my judgment, a high school 
class in Ancient History should have this book, not merely 
in the library for occasional reference, but constantly in the 
hands of each student. If that is arranged, most other 
"library work" may, perhaps, be omitted by a first-year 
class without serious loss, providing the following year in 
Modern History is so planned as to put emphasis on library 
reference. Not all varieties of historical training can be 
given with equal stress in one year — certainly not in a first 


year. This volume makes it possible to do the most desir- 
able things for that year more easily and more effectively 
than ever before. 

Now as to some of those things and how to do them. I 
hesitate to speak as a dogmatic pedagogue ; but this is just 
the matter on which I am particularly requested to speak in 
this Introduction. Concrete details depend largely upon 
the articulation with the regular text-book, and must vary 
with the text used. I must confine myself to a few general 

1. The volume is not designed for " hard " study, to be 
tested scrupulously by minute questioning: it is meant for 
reading. At the same time, it is planned so that, with a 
little thought by the teacher, it may be a daily companion 
to any standard text in Ancient History. Headings should 
usually be assigned for a group of days ahead (two days to 
five), to allow for variation in arrangement between this 
book and the text ; and students should then be expected — 
and helped — to go back at the proper times from passages 
in the text to the appropriate passages in the Readings. 
They should be taught to look for and to utilize Dr. Davis's 
suggestions at the head of each " number " as to the most 
essential things to look for in the extract. And almost 
daily, while the correct habit is forming, the teacher will 
find opportunity to ask, " What further light on this do you 
find in the Readings ? " " Did you get that idea from your 
text-book or from a ' contemporary ' authority ? " " Does 
the passage from Tacitus in the Readings support or 
weaken this statement of your text ? " Such practice should 
be continued and varied until the student instinctively turns 
from text to Readings and back again, supplementing each 
by the other, in his consideration of each topic. 

2. Now and then a suitable passage (not too long) may 
even be used in the way more peculiar to " source books " 
proper, for painstaking and exhaustive study, to establish 


conclusions in advance of the text, or to disclose evidence 
for positions there taken. For this purpose, the teacher 
may need at first to dictate searching questions. For a few- 
typical documents Dr. Davis has supplied such questions ; 
but the selection of documents to be used in this way will 
necessarily vary with the text-book! Now and then the 
class may be required to write questions upon a document ; 
and, still better, a student may prepare himself to question 
the class orally — first, of course, communicating to the in- 
structor the points he intends to bring out. 

3. When the survey of an important period or topic has 
been completed (Greek life in the days of Pericles, for in- 
stance), it will sometimes be well to spend a day or more 
in re-reading the Headings, with a class exercise to bring 
out points found there and not previously dwelt upon. 

4. The historical introductions by Dr. Davis should, of 
course, be compared carefully with the corresponding matter 
in the regular text ; and any divergences of opinion will 
afford convenient occasion for reference to larger standard 
authorities by an individual or by the class. 

6. The student should certainly acquire some discriminat- 
ing sense as to why one source differs from another in his- 
torical value or reliability. He can appreciate easily why 
(e.g.) Vol. II, § 63 (contemporary statement) is better author- 
ity for the facts it recites than is Vol. II, § 13, which has 
tradition or recollection merely for the facts it states. And 
such discrimination is susceptible of considerable develop- 
ment. Moreover, it is quite possible for the student to 
comprehend that even where a contemporary's judgment is 
erroneous as to fact, it is still often a historical fact itself 
of great significance. In this connection, to all cautions by 
Dr. Davis in his introductions against taking an opinion as 
an infallible authority — merely because it is contemporary 
and old — the teacher will need to add frequent reminder 
as to the partisan or personal or class bias of many of the 


writers quoted. It may be driven slowly into the everyday 
consciousness of the class that Homeric bards sang to chief- 
tains for largess, and were glad to gratify such auditors by 
raising a laugh at the expense of the annoying Thersites, 
who, in real life, may that day have bested the chief in the 
Assembly; that Aristophanes and Juvenal were ancient 
" muckrakers," with far less zeal for accurate statement 
than have their successors who trouble our society in. the 
monthly magazines ; that Cicero was a complacent and de- 
lightful old "standpatter," and Tacitus a preacher' who 
heightened the virtues of other peoples in order to darken 
the vices of his own land; that most professed historians 
were more eager for a good story than for scientific accu- 
racy ; and that, during all time, democracy has had its his- 
tory written chiefly by its enemies — since literature has 
belonged so largely to the aristocrats. 

6. I close with a suggestion, hardly needed, of perhaps 
the finest use of the volume. A true teacher ought to find 
in every class some students before whom these extracts 
may be dropped as delectable bait, to lure them on to high 
enjoyment of Plutarch and the Odyssey and Marcus Aure- 
lius in their entirety. 

December, 1912. 


The First Roman Age 





1. Description of Italy. Pliny the Elder . 

2. A Roman Rustic Festival. Ovid .... 

3. Partof an Early Latin Farmer's Calendar. Inscription 6 

4. Song of the Arval Brethren. Old Latin Fragment . 6 

5. The Ancient Roman Form of Declaring War. Livy . 7 

6. Numa and his Institution of the Vestals. Plutarch . 9 

7. Brutus condemns his Own Sons to Death. Livy . . 15 

8. How Horatius held the Bridge. Livy .... 16 


The Growth of the Republic 

Introduction ......... 19 

9. The Secession of the Plebs and the First Tribunes. Livy 19 

10. How the Plebeians won the Consulship. Livy . . 23 

11. How Cincinnatus saved a Roman Army. Livy . . 27 

12. The Personal Traits and Characteristics of the Gauls. 

Ammianus Marcellinus 29 

13. The Geese of the Capitol. Livy 31 

14. The Censorship of Appius Claudius. Livy ... 33 

15. Cineas and Appius Claudius Caecus. Plutarch . . 37 

16. The Training of Roman Nobles in the Best Period of 

the Republic. Heitland 41 

17. A Learned Greek's Analysis of the Roman Constitu- 

tion. Polyhius 42 



18. The Honesty of Roman Officials at the Best Period of 

the Republic. Polybius ...... 48 

19. Roman State Funerals and their Influence. Polybius . 50 


The Death Struggle with Carthage 

Introduction 53 

20. Horace's Ode on Regulus's Departure for Carthage. 

Horace 54 

21. The Youth and Character of Hannibal. Livy . . 56 

22. Hannibal's Hostility to Rome. Cornelius Nepos . . 60 

23. How the Second Punic War was Declared. Livy . 60 

24. Hannibal's Crossing of the Alps. Ldvy .... 62 

25. How the Romans greeted Varro on his Return from 

Cannse. Livy 67 

26. " Hannibal at the Gates." Livy 68 

27. MarceUus and Archimedes at Syracuse. Plutarch . 72 

28. The Battle of Zama. Livy 77 

29. Why Rome was Superior to Carthage. Polybius . 80 

30. How Cato the Elder inveighed against Carthage. 

Plutarch 82 


The Decline of the Roman Republic 


31. How Polybius and Scipio the Younger became Friends, 


32. The Conduct and Treatment of Slaves. Plautus 

33. Cato the Elder on how to Manage Farm Slaves 


34. How a Faithful Slave should Act. Plautus . 

35. Sparticus and the Slave Revolt. Plutarch . 

36. The Austerity of Cato the Elder. Plutarch . 

37. How Cato the Elder governed as Censor. Livy 

38. The Agrarian Situation in Italy in 133 b.c Appian 










39. The Murder of Tiberius Gracchus. Plutarch . . 105 

40. How Jugurtha corrupted the Degenerate Senate. 

Sallust 109 

41. How Marius overthrew the Teutones. Plutarch . . Ill 

42. The Reign of Terror under Sulla. Plutarch . . .115 
'43. The Vast Power of Mithridates. Appian . . . 118 

44. LucuUus's Triumph over Mithridates, and his Luxuri- 

ous Mode of Life. Plutarch 119 

45. Pompey's Conquest of the East. Appian . . . 123 

46. The Wealth and Habits of Crassus the Millionaire. 

Plutarch 127 

47. Quintus Cicero's Advice to his Brother when Candidate 

for the Consulship. Quintus Cicero . . . 129 

48. Conditions in Rome while Catiline was Plotting. 

Sallust 135 

49. The Early Career of Julius Caesar. Suetonius . . 138 


The Founding of the Roman Empire 

Introduction 143 

50. CsBsar's Account of how he was forced to take up 

Arms. Ccssar 144 

51. The Crossing of the Rubicon. Suetonius . . . 149 

52. Caesar's Reforms while Dictator. Suetonius . . 150 

53. The Funeral of Csesar. Appian 154 

54. The Personal Traits of Julius Caesar. Suetonius . . 159 

55. How Cleopatra bewitched Antony. Plutarch . . 162 

56. The Deeds of Augustus. Monumentum Ancyranum. 

{Inscription) 166 

57. Egypt and its Condition and Government under Rome. 

Straibo 172 

58. Horace's Secular Hymn. Horace 174 

69. Story illustrating the Magnanimity of Augustus. 

Seneca 177 

60. Vergil's Glorification of the Julian Line. Vergil . . 178 

61. The Glories of Rome. Straho 179 


The Deeds of the Emperors 


Introduction = 182 

62. The Defeat of Varus. Velleius Paterculus . . . 1§3 

63. A Discourse of Claudius in the Senate. Inscription . 186 

64. A Typical Neronian Crime: the Murder of Britannicus. 

Tacitus 188 

65. The Great Fire at Rome in the Days of Nero. Cassius 

Dio 191 

66. How the Emperor Domitian tried to amuse the Roman 

Populace. Suetonius 194 

67. The Poet Statins banquets with his Lord God the Em- 

peror. Statins 195 

68. Deeds and Anecdotes of the Emperor Hadrian. Mlius 

Spartianus 196 

69. The Character of Antoninus Pius. Marcus Aurelius . 199 

70. The Reign of Marcus Aurelius. Eutropius . . . 201 

71. How Didius Julianus bought the Roman Empire at 

Auction. Herodianus 203 

72. How the Goths devastated the Empire in the Reign of 

GaUienus. Jordanes 206 

73. How Aurelian conquered Zenobia. Vopiscus . . 207 


Public and Private Life under the Empire 

Introduction 211 

74. A Debate in the Senate in Imperial Times. Pliny the 

Younger 212 

75. The Correspondence of a Provincial Governor and the 

Emperor Trajan. Pliny the Younger . . . 215 

76. A Business Panic in Rome. Tacitus .... 222 

77. Summary of Some Benefactions to Roman Cities by 

Private Individuals. Summarized by Duruy . . 224 

78. Martial on Phases of Life in Rome, Martial . . 225 



79. How Horace got an Education. Horace . . . 227 

80. How Pliny endowed a School. Pliny the Younger . 228 

81. Flogging Schoolmasters at Rome. Martial . . 230 

82. Contemporary Testimony to the Greatness and Benefi- 

cence of the Roman Empire. Collected by Duruy 231 

83. The Great Buildings in Rome. Pliny the Elder . . 232 

84. The Extent of the City of Rome. Pliny the Elder . 235 

85. TheCollapseof Houses and the Fires in Rome. Strabo 236 

86. The Mania for Literary Fame in Imperial Times. 

Friedlaender 237 

87. Oratory in the Roman Courts. Pliny the Younger . 239 

88. The Life of a Refined Roman Gentleman. Pliny the 

Younger 240 

89. A Wealthy Roman's Fortune. Pliny the Elder . . 242 

90. A Roman Seaside VUla. Statius 243 

91. Letters about Private Life in Egypt under the Em- 

pire. Papyri 244 

92. A Diatribe against the Women of Rome. Juvenal . 247 

93. The Gourmandizing of the Emperor ViteUius. Sue- 

tonius 250 

94. Luxury in the Use of Rings. Pliny the Elder . . 251 

95. The Bill of Fare of a Great Roman Banquet. 

Macrobius 253 

96. The Banquet of Trimalehio, the Rich Parvenu. 

Petronius 253 

97. Seneca on the Gladiatorial Butcheries. Seneca . . 259 

98. Seneca's Opinions upon Slavery. Seneca . . . 259 

99. Wall Inscriptions from Pompeii. Inscriptions . . 260 


Philosophical and Religious Life in the Last Pagan Centuries 

Introduction 266 

100. A Skeptic's Mockery of the Multiplicity of Pagan 

Gods. Lucian 267 



101. A Famous Religious Imposter of the Second Century. 

Lucian 269 

102. The Nature of Demons. Appuleius .... 270 

103. A Stoic on the Endurance of Hardship. Seneca . 272 

104. How a Stoic met Calamity in the Days of Nero. 

Epictetus 274 

105. How All Things are under Divine Inspection. 

Epictetus 275 

106. Letters of Marcus Aurelius to his Master Fronto. 

Marcus Aurelius 277 

107. The Precepts of Marcus Aurelius. Marcus Aurelius . 280 

108. Isis and her Worship. Appuleius .... 282 


The Later Roman Empire and the Christians 

Introduction 285 

109. Nero's Persecution of the Christians. Tacitus . . 286 

110. How a Female Martyr faced her Persecutors. Mem- 

oirs of St. Perpetua 287 

111. Certificate of having sacrificed to the Pagan Gods. 

Papyrus 289 

112. How the Roman Officials tried to seize Christian 

Books in 303 a.d. After Workman . . . 289 

113. How Constantine overthrew Maxentius and favored 

Christianity. Eusebius 291 

114. How Constantine founded Constantinople. Sozomen 295 

115. A Christian's Testimony to the Divine Sanction for 

the Roman Empire. Aurelius Prudentius . . 297 

116. How St. Ambrose humiliated Theodosius the Great. 

Theodoret 298 

117. A Part of the Register of Dignitaries of the Roman 

Empire. From the Notitia Dignitatum . . . 300 

118. How Theodosius the Great struck Awe into the 

Goths. Jordanes ..*... . 304 

119. The Luxury and Arrogance of the Rich in Rome. 

Ammianus Marcellinus 305 


The Dying Empire and the German Invaders 


Introduction 310 

120. The Death and Burial of Alarie the Visigoth. 

Jordanes 311 

121. Description of the Early Germans. Tacitus . . 312 

122. Effect upon the World of the Taking of Rome by 

Alarie. Professor Dill 316 

123. The Greatness of Rome even in the Days of Ruin. 

Rutilius Numantius . 318 

124. A Picture of a Visigothie King. Sidonius Apollinaris 319 

125. An Account of the Person of Attila. Jordanes . . 322 

126. The Battle of the Catalaunian Plains or of Chalons. 

Jordanes .... .... 322 

127. The Youth and Rise to Power of Theodoric the Ostro- 

goth. Jordanes 325 

128. A Description of Constantinople under the Eastern 

Emperors. Professor Bury 327 

129. The Title of a Later Roman Emperor. Justinian . 330 

130. The Imperial Law-making Power as defined by Jus- 

tinian. Justinian ... ... 331 

131. How Clovis the Frank became a Catholic Christian. 

The Chronicle of St. Denys 331 

132. How Clovis disposed of a Rival. Gregory of Tours . 335 

133. Typical Passages from the Law of the Salian Franks. 

The Lex Salica 337 


The Early Middle Ages and Charlemagne 

Introduction ... 341 

134. Manners and Life in Frankland in the Merovingian 

Period. Adapted from Parmentier .... 342 

135. Usages of the Church in the Early Middle Ages. 

Adapted from Parmentier 345 



136. St. Simeon Stylites and how he achieved Holiness. 

Evagrius 348 

137. Extracts from the Monastic Rule of St. Benedict. 

St. Benedict 350 

138. Legal Conditions and the Personality of Law during 

the Barbarian Settlement. Vinogradoff . . 352 

139. Medieval Ordeal Formulas. Collected by Henderson . 355 

140. Typical Passages from the Koran. Mohammed . . 357 

141. The Opinion of Musa, the Saracen Conqueror of 

Spain, as to the Pranks. Arabian Chronicles . 362 

142. An Early Story of the Battle of Tours or Poitiers. 

Isadore o/ Beja 362 

143. Bagdad under the Abbaside Kalifs. AJter Ameer Ali 365 

144. How Pope Gregory I made Peace with the Lombards. 

Paulus Diaconus 367 

145. How Pepin the Short became King of the Franks. 

Chronicle of St. Denys 369 

146. Personal Traits of Charlemagne. Eginhard . . 370 

147. The Wars of Charlemagne. Eginhard . . . 373 

148. How Charlemagne was crowned Emperor. Eginhard 376 

149. Selections from the Great Capitulary of Charlemagne. 

Henderson 377 


Roman Money and Measures 381 

List of Modern Translations Used 382 

A Select List of Books on Roman History .... 385 

Biographical Notes of Ancient Authors Cited . . . 396 




The transition from Greece to Rome reflects itself in our liter- 
ary sources ; our narratives of Greek history are vivid, personal, 
abounding in illuminating detail ; the annals of early Rome are 
bare and formal, telling of events rather than of individuals. Even 
where it seems as if enlightening personalia are given, they may 
be justly suspected of being the fabrications of late historians 
trained to imitate Greek literary models. The first age of Rome 
never immortalized itself in anything like the Homeric poems or the 
delightful tales of Herodotus ; instead we have Grecianized legends, 
none too faithfully reproduced by the uncritical Livy. There is 
not a single personality in all Roman history who stands out for 
us with a clear-cut individuaUty — whom in short we can say we 
comprehend as we comprehend Themistocles or Pericles ; until we 
come at last to Scipio the Elder. Nevertheless, we are not with- 
out interesting memorials of the period of the early Roman Repub- 
lic or even of the period of the Kings. Thanks to the inherent 
conservatism of the Latin genius we find in the literature of later 
ages legal and religious formulae which manifestly have been 
handed down in unbroken tradition from very early times {e.g. The 
Song of the Arval Brethren ; The Form of Declaring War, etc.) ; 
and such memorials as these aid us not a little to understand the 
institutions and modes of thought of the cold, unpoetic, practical, 
patriotic, and wholly effective folk of central Italy who were to 
build an empire such as the more versatile and aesthetically bril- 
liant Greeks could never create. 

Besides certain of these "literary survivals" just mentioned, 
there are also given one or two of the famous tales from Livy, 
which, whatever their authenticity, truly illustrate the stem spirit 



of self-immolation for the common weal which was one of the 
noblest features of the life of early Rome. 

1. Description of Italy 
Pliny the Elder, " Natural History," book III, chap. 6. Bohn translation 

The natural advantages of the Italian peninsula are here set 
forth by an enthusiastic Roman writer. The Italians were — and 
are — justified in the praise of their country ; it is in every respect 
the queen of the southern European lands — vastly superior in 
every way to Spain with its few harbors and uplands and plains ; 
and again with far greater resources than picturesque but rocky 
and restricted Greece. On the whole, it is the most favored land 
bordering the Mediterranean, if not — area considered — in the 
entire world. 

When we come to Italy, we begin with the Ligures [in 
the Northwest], after whom we have Etruria, Umbria, 
Latium, where the mouths of the Tiber are situate, and 
Rome the " Capital of the World," sixteen miles distant 
from the Sea. We then oome to the coasts of the Volsci and 
Campania, and the districts of Picenum, of Lucania and of 
Bruttium, where Italy extends the farthest in a southerly 
direction, and projects into the [two] seas with the chain of 
the Alps,' which there forms pretty nearly the shape of a 
crescent. Leaving Bruttium we come to the coast of 
[Magna] Graecia, then the Apuli, Peligni, Sabini, Picentes, 
Galli, the Umbri, the Tusci, the Venetes [and other 

I am quite aware that I might be justly accused of 
ingratitude and indolence, were I to describe thus briefly 
and in so cursory a manner the land which is at once the 
foster-child and the parent of all lands : chosen by the provi- 
dence of the Gods to render even heaven itself more glorious, 
to unite the scattered empires of the earth, to bestow a pol- 

1 This, df course, refers to the Apennines. 


ish upon men's manners, to unite the discordant and uncouth 
dialects of so many nations by the powerful ties of one com- 
mon language, to confer the enjoyments of discourse and of 
civilization upon mankind, to become, in short, the mother- 
country of all the nations. 

But how shall I begin the tafsk ? So vast is the number 
of celebrated places [no one living can name them all]. So 
great is the renown [of each spot] I feel myself wholly at a 
loss. The city of Rome alone, which forms a portion [of 
Italy], a face well worthy of shoulders so beauteoiis, how 
great a book it would take for a due description ! And then 
too [there is] the coast of Campania, just taken by itself, — 
so blessed with natural charms and riches, that it is evident 
that when nature formed it, she took a delight in accumu- 
lating all her blessings in a single spot — how am I to do 
justice to this ? 

Again the climate, with its eternal freshness, and so 
abounding in health and vitality, the sereneuess of the weather 
so enchanting, the fields so fertile, the hill sides so sunny, 
the thickets so free from every danger,^ the groves so cool 
and shady, the forests with a vegetation so varying and 
luxuriant, the fruitfulness of the grain, the vines, and the. 
admirable olives, the flocks with fleeces so noble, the bulls 
with necks so sinewy ; the lakes with one ever coming after 
another, the numerous rivers and springs which refresh 
the land on every side with their waters, the numerous 
[gulfs of] the sea with their havens, and the bosom of the 
lands opening everywhere to the commerce of the wide 
world, yes, as it were, eagerly reaching out into the very 
midst of the waves, for the purpose of aiding — so it seems 
— the efforts of the Immortals ! 

At present I omit speaking of its genius, its manners, its 
men, and the nations whom it has conquered by eloquence 
and the might of arms. The very Greeks — a folk fond 

1 Presumably from dapgerous wild beasts. 


mightily of spreading their own praises — have given ample 
judgment in favor of Italy, when they named simply a 
small part of it " Magna Greecia." But we must be content 
in this case, as in our description of the heavens. We must 
only touch upon these points, and take notice of merely a 
few of its stars. 

I may begin by remarking that this land very much re- 
sembles in shape an oak-leaf, being much longer than it is 
broad ; towards the top it inclines to the left [if one is facing 
south], while it terminates in the form of an Amazonian 
buckler,^ in which the central projection is called Cocinthos, 
while it sends forth two horns at the end of its crescent- 
shaped bays — Leucopetra on the right, and Lacinium on the 
left. It extends in length 1020 miles, if we measure from 
the foot of the Alps at Prsetoria Augusta through the city of 
Rome and Capua to Rhegiura, — which is situate on the 
shoulder of the Peninsula, just at the bend of the neck as it 
were. The distance is much greater if measured to Lacinium, 
but in that case the line, being drawn obliquely, would in- 
cline too much to one side. The breadth [of Italy] is vari- 
able ; being 410 miles between the two seas, the Lower 
[Tuscan] and the Upper [Adriatic], and the rivers Varus 
[by Gaul] and Arsia [by Istria] ; at about the middle and in 
the vicinity of the city of Rome, from the spot where the 
river Aternus flows into the Adriatic to the mouth of the 
Tiber, the distance is 136 miles, and a little less from Cas- 
trum-Novum on the Adriatic sea to Alsiura on the Tuscan ; — 
but at no place does it exceed 200 miles in breadth. The 
circuit of the whole from the Varus to the Arsia is 3069 miles.^ 

As to its distance from the countries that surround it, 
Epirus and Illyricum [nearest points toward Greece] are 

1 That is, a shield, whose side was shaped like a kind of crescent. 

" A good example of how inaccurate the Ancients were in their calcu- 
lations—and Pliny doubtless used the best available data; the real 
circuit is about 2500 miles. 


50 miles distant, Africa is less than 200, as we are informed 
by Marcus Varro, and Sicily a mile and a half. 

2. Roman Eustio Festival 

Ovid, "Fasti," book IV, 1. 735 «. 

The following is from an author of the Augustan Age, but the 
old worship herein described had survived practically unchanged in 
agricultural districts from very primitive times. We may imagine 
the men of the age of the Tarquins practicing almost exactly these 
identical rites. 

Shepherd! at the first streak of dawn purify thy well- 
nourished flocks ; first besprinkle them with water, and let 
a branch sweep clean the ground. Let the folds be decked 
with leaves and branches, while a trailing wreath covers the 
gates so gaily adorned. Then make the blue flames to rise 
from the living sulphur, and the sheep bleat loudly whilst 
she feels the touch of the smoking sulphur. Burn next the 
olive-branch, the pine twig, the juniper, — for this is the 
food which rejoices the country goddess the most. Give 
also to her an especial share of the feast, and her pail of 
milk ; and when her share has been set aside, then, with milk 
warm from the cow, make thou thy prayer to Pales ' — 
warder of the woods. 

[In this prayer the farmer must beg forgiveness for any uncon- 
scious sins against the rustic deities, such as trespassing on their 
groves, or sheltering his flocks under their altar ; then he should 
beg that disease be averted, and good luck attend his crops, herds, 
and flocks.] 

Thus must thou win the favor of the divinity ; and say 
this prayer four times, turning toward the sunrise, and wash 
thy hands at the running stream. Then set the rustic bowl 

1 A rustic divinity whio figures 'in early Roman mythology as the 
especial patron of herdsmen. 


upon the table in place of the wiue-bowl, and drink ye the 
snowy milk and dark must, and soon through the heaps of 
crackling straw leap in swift course with eager limbs. 

[All the worshipers then begin to leap through the blazing fires, 
and even the flocks and herds are driven through, while fierce 
hilarity reigns.] 

3. Part op an Eakly Latin Farmeb's Calendar 
Inscription in " Corpus Inscript. Lat.,'" vol. VI, p. 637 

This inscription for the month of May was on a marble cube, 
on the four sides whereof were indications of the works and festi- 
vals for each month. Notice the brief, pithy injunctions, — very 
suitable for a community of hard-headed, totally unimaginative 

The month of May 

Thirty-one days, with the nones falling on the seventh day. 
The day has fourteen and one half hours. The night has 
nine and one half hours. The sun is under the sign of 
Taurus. The month of May is under the protection of 

The corn is weeded. 

The sheep are shorn. 

The wool is washed. 

The young steers are put under the yoke. 

The vetch in the meadows is cut. 

The lustration of the crops is made. Sacrifices (ought 
to be made) to Mercury and to Flora. 

4. Song of the Arval Brethren 
Old Latin Fragment from Wordsworth's Translation 

The " Arval Brethren " were a company of twelve priests, whose 
main business seems to have beeji to offer sacrifice for the fertility 
of the soil. During their solemn festival they executed a sacred 


dance, and recited the hymn here given. This hymn is in such 
■primitive Latin that its correct translation is in some points dis- 
puted ; but it continued to be recited centuries after the priests 
had almost forgotten its meaning. Compare this early Latin 
eflfort at poetry with the earliest known poetry of the Greeks ! 

Help us, Lares, help us, Lares, help us ! 

And thou, Marmar, suffer not. 

Fell plague and ruin's rot 

Our folk to devastate. 
Be satiate, O fierce Mars, be satiate ! 

Leap o'er the threshold ! Halt ! now beat the ground ! 

\_Above couplet repeated three times.] 

Call to your aid the heroes all, call in alternate strain ; 

Call, call the heroes all ! 
Call to your aid the heroes all, call in alternate strain. 
Help us, Marmar, help us ! Marmar, help us ! 
Leap high in solemn measure ; leap and leap again ! 

Leap high and leap again ! 

5. The Ancient Roman Foem of Declaking War 

Livy, " History," book I, chap. 32 

Among the very old formulas and usages that survived at Rome 
down to relatively late times, this method of declaring war holds 
a notable place. It was highly needful to observe all the necessary 
formalities in beginning hostilities, otherwise the angry gods would 
turn their favor to the enemy. 

[Ancus Marcius, the fourth king of Rome, was at once a man of 
peace and an efficient soldier ; and on the outbreak of a war with 
the Latins he is said to have instituted the. customs which later 
ages of Romans observed in war.] 

Inasmuch as Numa had instituted the religious rites for 
days of peace, Ancus Marcius desired that the ceremonies 
relating to war might be transmitted by himself to future 


ages. Accordingly he borrowed from an ancient folk, the 
jEquicolse, the form which the [Roman] heralds still ob- 
serve, when they make public demand for restitution, , 

The [Roman] envoy when he comes to the frontier of the 
offending nation, covers his head with a woolen fillet, and 

" Hear, Jupiter, and hear ye lands (of such and such a 
nation), let Justice hear ! I am a public messenger of the 
Roman people. Justly and religiously I come, and let my 
words bear credit ! " Then he makes his demands, and fol- 
lows with a solemn appeal to Jupiter. " If I demand un- 
justly and impiously that these men and goods [in question] 
be given to me, the herald of the Roman people, then suffer 
me never to enjoy again my native country ! " 

These words he repeats when he crosses the frontiers ; he 
says them also to the first man he meets [on the way] ; 
again when he passes the gate; again on entering the 
[foreigners'] market-place, some few words in the formula 
being [then] changed. If the persons he demands are not 
surrendered after thirty days, he declares war, thus : — 

" Hear, Jupiter and thou too Juno, — Romulus also, 
and all ye celestial, terrestrial, and infernal gods ! Give us 
ear ! I call ye to witness that this nation (naming it) is un- 
just, and has acted contrary to right. And as for us, we will 
consult thereon with our elders in our homeland, as to how 
we may obtain our rights." 

After that the envoy returns to Rome to report, and the 
king was wont at once to consult with the Senators in some 
such words as these, 

" Concerning such quarrels as to which the ' pater patra- 
tus'^ of the Roman people has conferred with the pater 
patratus of the [foreign] people, and with that people 
themselves, touching what they ought to have surrendered or 
done; and which things they have not surrendered nor done 
1 The head of the Roman heralds (f etialesi . 


[as they ought] ; speak forth," he said to the senator first 
questioned, "what think you ? " 

Then the other said, " I think that [our rights] should be 
demanded by a just and properly declared war, and for that 
I give my consent and vote." 

Next the others were asked in order, and when the 
majority of those present had reached an agreement, the war 
was resolved upon. 

It was customary for the fetiaUs to carry in his hand a 
javelin pointed with steel, or burnt at the end and dipped in 
blood. This he took to the confines of the enemy's country, 
and in the presence of at least three persons of adult years, 
he spoke thus, " Forasmuch as the state of the [enemy 
here named] has offended against the Eoman People, the 
Quirites ; and forasmuch as the Roman People the Quirites 
have ordered that there should be war [with the enemy] 
and the Senate of the Eoman People has duly voted that 
war should be made upon the enemy [here named] : I acting 
for the Roman People declare and make actual war upon the 
enemy ! " 

So saying he flung the spear within the hostile confines. 
After this manner restitution was at that time demanded 
from the Latins [by Ancus Marcius] and war proclaimed; 
and the usage then established was adopted by posterity.' 


Plutarch, "Life of Numa," chaps. IX-XIV, XIX, XX 

To Numa the traditiofial second king of Rome (assumed dates 
715 to 673 B.C.) later ages attributed many of the religious usages 

1 When In later ages the Romans had to wage war with nations heyond 
the seas, they resorted to a very curious fiction in order to keep this old 
custom. They transferred a spot of ground near the Circus Flaminius to 
a prisoner from the unfriendly' nation ; and on this spot, in front of the 
Temple of Bellona, they set a column. The land could now be accounted 
hostile territory, and the spear of the fetialis could be hurled upon it. An- 
other example of Roman literalism. 


of the city. We may dismiss Numa as legendary ; but the insti- 
tutions and customs ascribed to him were not legendary, and sur- 
vived nearly intact down to the triumph of Christianity, thus 
illustrating the essentially conservative character of the Roman 
genius. Note that the old Roman religion was almost formalism 
incarnate. The relations of god and worshiper are those of cred- 
itor and debtor ; the latter must discharge his duty literally, and 
in exchange require a due amount of favor. Almost no religion 
was so deficient in spirituality as that of Rome. It did, however, 
put a premium on the scrupulous performance of duty. 

The original constitution of the priests, called Pontifices, 
is ascribed unto Numa, and he himself was, it is said, the 
first of them ; and that they have the name of Pontifices 
from potens, powerful, because they attend the service of 
the gods, who have power and command over all. The 
most common opinion is the most absurd, which derives this 
word from pons, and assigns the priests the title of bridge- 
makers.' The sacrifices performed on the bridge were 
amongst the most sacred and ancient, and the keeping and 
repairing of the bridge attached, like any other public sacred 
ofiBce, to the priesthood. It was accounted not simply un- 
lawful, but a positive sacrilege, to pull down the wooden 
bridge ; which moreover is said, in obedience to an oracle, 
to have been built entirely of timber and fastened with 
wooden pins, without nails or cramps of iron. The stone 
bridge was built a very long time after, when ^milius was 
quaestor, and they do, indeed, say also that the wooden 
bridge was not so old as Numa's time.. . . . 

The office of Pontifex Maximus, or chief priest, was to de- 
clare and interpret the divine law, ... he not only prescribed 
rules for public ceremony, but regulated the sacrifices of 
private persons, not suffering them to vary from established 

1 Nevertheless this seems the probahle origin ol the word. The Ponti- 
fices are said to have had the making or maintenance of the Subliclan 
bridge built over the Tiber by Ancus Marcius. 


custom, and giving information to every one of what was 
requisite for purposes of worship or supplication. He was 
also guardian of the vestal virgins, the institution of whom, 
and of their perpetual fire, was attributed to Numa, who, 
perhaps, fancied the charge of pure and uncorrupted flames 
would be fitly intrusted to chaste and unpolluted persons, 
or that fire, which consumes, but produces nothing, bears an 
analogy to the virgin estate. 

Some are of opinion that these vestals had no other busi- 
ness than the preservation of this fire ; but others conceive 
that they were keepers of other divine secrets, concealed 
from all but themselves. Gegania and Verenia, it is re- 
corded, were the names of the first two virgins consecrated 
and ordained by Numa; Canuleia and Tarpeia succeeded; 
Servius Tullius afterwards added two, and the number of 
four has been continued to the present time. 

The Term of Service for the Vestals 

The statutes prescribed by Numa for the vestals were 
these : that they should take a vow of virginity for the 
space of thirty years, the first ten of which they were 
to spend in learning their duties, the second ten in per- 
forming them, and the remaining ten in teaching and in- 
structing others. Thus the whole term being completed, 
it was lawful for them to marry, and leaving the sacred 
order, to choose any condition of life that pleased them ; 
but of this permission few, as they say, made use; and in 
cases where they did so, it was observed that their change 
was not a happy one, but accompanied ever after with 
regret and melancholy ; so that the greater number, from 
religious fears and scruples, forbore, and continued to old 
age and death iu the strict observance of a single life. 

For this condition he compensated by great privileges 
and prerogatives ; as that they had power to make a will 
in the lifetime of their father; that they had a free ad 


ministration of their own affairs without guardian or tutor, 
which was the privilege of women who were the mothers 
of three children; when they go abroad, they have the 
fasces carried before them; and if in their walks they 
chance to meet a criminal on his way to execution, it 
saves his life, upon oath being made that the meeting was 
accidental, and not concerted or of set purpose. Any 
one who presses upon the chair on which they are carried 
is put to death. 

Punishment of Unfaithful Vestals 

If these vestals commit any minor fault, they are punish- 
able by the high-priest only, who scourges the offender, 
sometimes with her clothes off, in a dark place, with a 
curtain drawn between ; but she that has broken her vow 
is buried alive near the gate called CoUina, where a little 
mound of earth stands, inside the city, reaching some little 
distance, called in Latin agger; under it a narrow room 
is constructed, to which a descent is made by stairs ; here 
they prepare a bed, and light a lamp, and leave a small 
quantity of victuals, such as bread, water, a pail of milk, 
and some oil ; that so that body which had been consecrated 
and devoted to the most sacred service of religion might 
not be said to perish by such a death as famine. The cul- 
prit herself is put in a litter, which they cover over, and 
tie her down with cords on it, so that nothing she utters 
may be heard. They then take her to the forum ; all 
people silently go out of the way as she passes, and such 
as follow accompany the bier with solemn and speechless 
sorrow ; and, indeed, there is not any spectacle more appall- 
ing, nor any day observed by the city with greater appear- 
ance of gloom and sadness. When they come to the place 
of execution, the officers loose the cords, and then the 
high-priest, lifting his hands to heaven, pronounces certain 
prayers to himself before the act ; then he brings out the 


prisoner, being still covered, and placing her upon the 
steps that lead down to the cell, turns away his face with 
the rest of the priests ; the stairs are drawn up after she 
has gone down, and a quantity of earth is heaped up over 
the entrance to the cell, so as to prevent it from being 
distinguished from the rest of the mound. This is the 
punishment of those who break their vow of virginity. 

The Priests known as "Salii" 

[From Numa's day also were' dated twelve sacred targets 
of bronze, said to have the virtue of guarding the city from 

The keeping of these targets was committed to the charge 
of certain priests, called Salii, who received their name from 
that jumping dance which the Salii themselves use, when in 
the month of March they carry the sacred targets through 
the city ; at which procession they are habited in short frocks 
of purple, girt with abroad belt studded with brass ; on their 
heads they wear a brass helmet, and carry in their hands short 
daggers, which they clash every now and then against the 
targets. But the chief thing is the dance itself. They move 
with much grace, performing, in quick time and close order, 
various intricate figures, with a great display of strength and 
agility. The targets are not made round, nor like proper 
targets, of a complete circumference, but are cut out into a 
wavy line, the ends of which are rounded off and turned in 
at the thickest part towards each other. 

After Numa had in this manner instituted these several 
orders of priests, he erected, near the temple of Vesta, what 
is called to this day Eegia, or king's house, where he spent 
the most part of his time, performing divine service, instruct- 
ing the priests, or conversing with them on sacred subjects. 
He had another house upon the Mount Quiriualis, the site of 
which they show to this day. In all public processions and 


solemn prayers, criers were sent before to give notice to the 
people that they should forbear their work, and rest.' . . . 

The Worship of Janus 

[Nnma is alleged to have reformed the calendar and named the 

January was so called from Janus, and precedence given 
to it by Numa before March, which was dedicated to the 
god Mars ; because, as I conceive, he wished to take every 
opportunity of intimating that the arts and studies of peace 
are to be preferred before those of war. For this Janus, 
whether in remote antiquity he were a demi-god or a king, 
was certainly a great lover of civil and social unity, and one 
who reclaimed men from brutal and savage living ; for which 
reason they figure him with two faces, to represent the two 
states and conditions out of the one of which he brought 
mankind, to lead them into the other. His temple at Eome 
has two gates, which they call the gates of war, because they 
stand open in the time of war, and shut in the times of 
peace ; of which latter there was very seldom an example, 
for, as the Roman empire was enlarged and extended, it was 
so encompassed with barbarous nations and enemies to be 
resisted, that it was seldom or never at peace. Only in the 
time of Augustus Caesar, after he had overcome Antony, 
this temple was shut ; as likewise once before, when Marcus 
Atilius and Titus Maulius '■' were consuls ; but then it was 
not long before, wars breaking out, the gates were again 
opened. But, during the reign of Numa, those gates were 

^ Note the extreme formalism of the Roman religion. The people were 
not hound to stop working on religious holidays ; but the priests must not 
see them work. Therefore the crier was sent ahead when the priests 
passed to warn the people to cease lahor just for the moment. The man 
beheld working by the priest was subject to a fine. 

2 In 235 A.D. shortly after the close of the First Punic War. 


never seen open a single day, but continued constantly shut 
for a space of forty-three years together ; such an entire and 
universal cessation of war existed.^ 

7. Beutus condemns his Own Sons to Death 
Livy, " Hiatoiy," book II, chap. 6 

This story is the best illustration of the " old Roman discipline," 
its unrelenting severity, and its subordination of all private feelings 
to the demands of public duty. It is ascribed to the year 509 B.C. 

[An unsuccessful plot +0 restore the Tarquin dynasty was dis- 
covered, and some of the most prominent youths of Rome were im- 
plicated in it, including the sons of Brutus the Consul, the highest 
magistrate of the city.] 

The traitors were condemned to capital punishment. Their 
doom was the more memorable, because the duties . of the 
consular office imposed upon [Brutus] the father the task of 
punishing his own children. He who ought not even to have 
witnessed their fate, was ordained by fortune to exact their 
punishment. A number of [other] young men of high rank 
stood tied to the stake for the requital of their crimes, but 
the consul's sons attracted the most attention from the spec- 
tators : [although exasperation with their treason c'.estroyed 
much of the popular pity]. 

The consuls seated themselves in their tribunal. The 
lictors then, fulfilling their office, stripped the criminals 
naked, beat them with the rods and smote off their heads. 
During all this time their father presented a touching sight 
indeed, in his looks and his whole general manner : for now 
and again the feelings of a parent, even as he superintended 
the public execution, would burst forth to plain view. 

I The reign of Numa was regularly looked back upon as a kind of a 
Golden Age. It is needless to say that Early Rome never enjoyed this im- 
munity from war. 


Livy, " History," book II, chaps. 9, 10 

The story of " Horatius at the Bridge " and how he saved Rome, 
when she was in deadly peril from attack by Lars Porsena, lord of 
the Etruscans, would not be worth reproducing, so familiar is it, 
were it not for the natural interest in the original narrative as re- 
hearsed by Livy. It is to be feared the historicity of the incident 
will not bear too close inspection. Its alleged date was 508 B.C. 

Porsena, thinking it would be glorious for the Tuscans, 
if there were a king in Rome, and a king too of their own 
nation, marched on Rome with a hostile army. Never be- 
fore did so great terror seize the Senate ; — so powerful was 
Clusium then, and so great the renown of [its King] Porsena. 

Not only did they dread their foreign enemies, but even 
their own citizens ; fearing lest the common people, cowed 
by fear, should receive the Tarquins [supported by Porsena] 
back into the city, and thus gain peace even at the price of 

Many conciliatory concessions were therefore granted to 
the Plebeians by the Senate during these times. [The taxes 
were abated, an effort was made to provide salt at a fair 
price, and, as a result, it came to pass that good feeling pre- 
vailed in Rome, so that] from the highest to the lowest all 
equally detested the name of " King " ; nor did any dema- 
gogue in later times gain greater popularity by his intrigues, 
than did the whole Senate then by its excellent government. 

Some parts of Rome were secured [against the foe] by 
walls ; other parts by the barrier of the Tiber ; but the 
Sublician Bridge nearly afforded a passage to the enemy 
had there not been one man, Horatius Codes — whom the 
Fortune of Rome gave for a bulwark that day — who chanced 
to be posted as a guard on the bridge. When he saw the 
Janiculura [the hill across the Tiber] carried by a sudden 


assault, and the enemy charging thence with full onset, 
■while his friends in terror and confusion were actually cast- 
ing away their arms, he laid hold on them one by one ; and 
standing out in the way [of the fugitives] he appealed to 
them in the name of gods and men, and cried out : " Their 
flight would profit nothing, if they fled their posts. If they 
once left the bridge behind them, there would soon be more 
foes on the Palatine hill and the Capitol than on the Janicu- 
lum!" He therefore urged and enjoined them "to hew 
down the bridge, by sword, fire, or any means; and he would 
stand the brunt of the foe, so far as one man might." 

Thereat he advanced to the first entrance of the bridge, 
and faced about, to engage the foe hand to hand, with so 
surprising a front that fie terrified the enemy. . But two 
other Romans, impelled by conscious shame, stood with 
him, Spurius Lartius and Titus Herminius, men of high 
birth and of brave renown. With them, Horatius for a little 
stood back the first onset, and the fiercest brunt of the 
battle. But now the men hewing down the bridge called 
on them to retire ; and Horatius compelled the others to 
fly to safety across the scanty part of the bridge still left. 
Then casting his eyes sternly with threatening mien upon 
all the Tuscan chiefs, he now challenged them singly, now 
taunted them all, as " slaves of proud tyrants, and men who 
cared not for their own freedom, and so were come to crush 
out the freedom of others ! " 

For some little time they hesitated, looking one to the 
other, ere commencing the fight ; then mere shame put their 
host in motion ; they raised their war shout, and from every 
side hurled in their darts on their lone adversary. But all 
these darts stuck fast in his shield, and with a firm stand 
he held the bridge. Then they strove by a single push to 
thrust him down, but hereupon the crashing noise of the 
falling bridge, and the cheers of the Romans, checked their 
fury with a sudden panic. 


Thereupon Codes spoke: "Holy Father Tiber, I pray- 
that thou do receive these my arms, and this thy soldier in 
thy benignant stream." 

All in his armor he sprang down into the river, and while 
darts showered around him he swam across quite safely to 
his friends, — the hero of a deed which generations to come 
will more easily glorify than believe. The state was not 
ungrateful for his valor. A statue was erected to him in 
the assembly place [in the Forum] and as much land was 
given him as he was able to plow around in a single day. 


The story of the growth of early Rome is the story of a small 
city surrounded by a small farming community, rent within by 
feuds and beset without by hostile neighbors. Rome was obliged 
to be master of her own house and her own energies before she 
was able to embark on her great period of conquest. Small and 
humble as these civic contests and border warfare might seem, 
they were pregnant with vast accomplishment for the future. In 
the strife betwixt Patrician and Plebeian were learned those les- 
sons in mutual concession, in the developing of practical political 
expedients and in the honest submission to an unwelcome fafct 
when the battle had been fairly ended, which were to stand Rome 
in such good stead when she was summoned to rule the nations. 
In the petty frontier warfore with Volscian and Etruscan was 
slowly perfected that military art which was to make the Roman 
armies the most efficient wax machines which, weapons considered, 
the world has ever witnessed. 

Many of the details of this early Republican period are obscure ; 
our records are often dubious and scanty, but the great facts stand 
patent. In this chapter are given some of the narratives of Livy 
as to certain capital events, stories that are always picturesque, 
and which we will gladly try to believe to be true. A typical 
incident from Plutarch is given, and in addition a couple of ex- 
cerpts from Polybius illustrative of conditions in Rome when the 
Republic had fairly embarked on its voyage toward empire. 

9. The SECESsioif of tbte Plebs and the First Tribunes 
Livy, " History," book H, chaps. 23-24 and 32-33 

The mutiny of the Plebs and the setting up of the first trib- 
unes form, of course, a cardinal point in the history of the Roman 



Republic. But note the essentially peaceful character of the 
resistance ; it was a " strike " rather than a revolt, despite bitter 
and prolonged grievances. A Greek city in like condition would 
have been rent asunder by armed conflicts, and the defeated party 
would probably have tasted massacre or, at best, exile. The Roman 
habit was to obey the law, except when it became intolerable, and 
then to resist simply enough to redress the immediate wrong, — 
not to put through a "Reform Program." This willingness to 
sink private or class wrongs in the public good was one of the 
secrets of the successes of the Republic. 

War with the Volscians wa.s threatening, but the state 
was also sorely disturbed within itself, the animosity be- 
twixt Senate and people glowing now to white heat, largely 
on account of the imprisonments for debt. Loud was the 
complaint that while men were fighting abroad for lands 
and liberty, they were seized and oppressed at home by 
their own fellow citizens ; and that the " liberty of the peo- 
ple " was more secure in war than in peace. This feeling 
of discontent increasing of itself was still further aggravated 
by a case of individual suffering. 

A certain aged man thrust himself into the Forum, with 
all the tokens of his miseries upon him. His clothes were 
utterly squalid ; his very body was shocking, pale and ema- 
ciated as it was. His long beard, and hair impressed, too, a 
savage wildness upon his features. Notwithstanding his 
wretched state he was nevertheless recognized, and it was 
repeated how he had been a centurion, and, while pitying 
him, men announced his other distinctions won in the public 
service, — while he displayed the various scars on his breast, 
witnesses as they were to honorable battles. 

[As the multitude gathered and questioned him he told 
how,] " while serving in the Sabine War, because he had not 
merely lost the produce of his little farm through the hostile 
ravagers, but also because his house had been burned, his 
goods stolen, his cattle driven away, and too because a 


tax had been imposed [on him at that very distressing 
time, he had fallen into debt. Then this debt had aggra- 
vated. First he had been stripped of his father's and his 
grandfather's farm, then of his other property.] Finally 
he was seized in person by his creditor, and haled away, not 
into mere slavery, but into a regular house of correction 
and punishment. He finally displayed his back, all covered 
with the marks of the stripes so lately inflicted. 

The Outbreak of Rioting 

Hearing and seeing this, the people rose in great uproar. 
No longer was the tumult in the Forum merely ; it spread 
all over the city. Those who had been in bonds for debt 
and those also at liberty rushed into the streets from all 
quarters, begging the protection of the multitude. Every- 
where there was a spontaneous banding together and sedi- 
tion. Down all the streets they ran with clamorous shout- 
ing, and so into the Forum. Such of the Senators as they 
met there were hustled by the mob to their no slight peril ; 
nor would the people have stopped short of extreme violence- 
had not the consuls Publius Servilius and Appius Clau- 
dius bestirred themselves hastily to quiet the uproar. 

Turning on the consuls, the multitude displayed their 
chains and other tokens of misery, and thus taunted the 
consuls ; then they demanded, with threatenings rather 
than as petitioners, that they " assemble the Senate " ; while 
they posted themselves around the Senate House in a body, 
resolved to witness and to control all the public counsels. 

[The Senators met in great fear, and the people in turn put 
little confldence in their professions, while the consuls lacked 
harmony among themselves. In the midst of the peril news came 
of an attack by the Volscians. To induce the people to take up 
arms, the consul Servilius suspended the rigors of the law. The 
foreign peril was thus speedily ended, but simultaneously the oppres- 


Bion of the debtors began again. The Patricians would yield noth- 
ing ; especially Appius Claudius urged a policy of extreme severity. 
The only thing that seemed able to prevent a downright revolt was 
the keeping of the commons continually in the army, and hence 
subject to rigid military discipline. Despite all this, the Patricians 
did not yield. At length the sedition came to a head.] 

The Plebeians go to the Sacred Mount 

At first it was proposed to kill the consuls, in order to 
discliarge the men from their oath of obedience ; but when 
it was asserted that no religious obligation could be dis- 
charged by a mere crime, on the advice of one Sicinius, they 
retired without any orders from the consuls, to the " Sacred 
Mount " beyond the river Anio, three miles from Borne. 

There, without any regular leader, they fortified their 
camp with a rampart and a trench, and remained quiet, tak- 
ing nothing but the food they needed. Thus they kept to 
themselves for some days, neither attacked themselves nor 
attacking others. 

Meantime in the city was panic and mutual fear. The 
Plebeians, still in Rome, dreaded the violence of the Senators ; 
these in turn dreaded the commons, and were doubtful 
whether they wished theih to stay [as hostages for the rest] 
or to depart. [Everybody questioned howlongthe mutineers 
would remain quiet, and what would happen if a foreign foe 
fell upon Rome.] 

Menenius Agrippa brings back the Plebeians 

Therefore it was determined to send out an ambassador 
to the Plebeians, Menenius Agrippa, an eloquent man and 
withal acceptable, because he himself was of humble origin. 
When he was admitted to the camp, he is said to have re- 
lated this story. " Once upon a time the parts of the human 
body did not agree together, but the various members had 
each their own policy ; and it befell that the other parts 


were indignant that everything was procured for the belly 
by their care, while the belly did nothing but enjoy the 
pleasures they afforded it. So they conspired : — the hands 
should no more carry food to the mouth, the mouth would 
not receive it, nor the teeth chew it* But while they wished 
to subdue the belly by famine, these parts themselves, and 
the whole body, were reduced to the last degree of emacia^ 
tion. Thus it became evident that the service of the belly 
was by no means a slothful one [but that it had a most im- 
portant purpose]. 

By comparing thus how similar was the sedition within 
the body to the resentment of the people against the Sena- 
tors, he made an impression on the minds of the multitude. 
A commencement was accordingly made toward a reconcilia- 
tion, and it was allowed that "the Plebeians should have 
their own magistrates, with inviolable privileges ; and these 
men should have the right of bringing assistance against 
the Consuls ; nor could any Patrician hold these [Plebeian] 

Thus two tribunes of the Plebeians were created, Gaius 
Licinius and Lucius Albinus. 

10. How THE Plebeians wok the Consulship 

Livy, " History," book VI, chaps. 34-42 

The struggle about the " Sexto-Licinian Laws '' (376 to 
367 B.C.), described in this passage, was practically the end of 
the long battle between the Patricians and the Plebeians. It is 
true, the final capitulation of the Patricians did not come until the 
" Hortensian Law " of 286 B.C., but from 367 B.C. onward the 
Romans were in such a position of inner harmony that they could 
devote most of their energies to the great task of subjugating 
Italy. Again is to be noticed the methods of merely passive 
resistance employed by the Plebeian malcontents, and their re- 
fraining from those drastic measures which mark the average 


[At this time there was a lull in the civic disturbances : 
The Plebeians did not consider the " consular tribuneship " 
to which they were nominally eligible to be really within 
their power of winning, and the Patricians seemed to have] 
recovered possession of "an honor which had been seized for 
only a few years by the commonalty. A trifling cause, as 
generally happens, had the result of producing a mighty 
outcome ; and this now intervened to stop the Patricians' 

[Two daughters of Ambustus, a prominent Patrician, 
were married; one to a Plebeian, the other to a Patrician. 
The former repined over the superior honors and state of 
her sister, whose husband was then consular tribune, and 
she complained bitterly to her father. Ambustus thereupon 
promised] "that she should soon see the same honors at her 
own house, which she had just seen at her sister's." He 
then proceeded to concert plans with his son-in-law [G-aius 
Licinius], and they attached to the undertaking Lucius 
Sextius, a young man of great enterprise, who had found 
in his non-patrician birth the chief barrier to his ambition, 

The Proposals of Sextius and Licinius 

There appeared a favorable opportunity for making inno- 
vations on account of the immense load of debt ; since the 
Plebeians could hope for no lightening of the burden unless 
their own party gained control of the highest magistracies. 
To this end they realized they must exert themselves. 
After Gaius Licinius and Lucius Sextius had been elected 
tribunes of the Plebs, they proposed laws aimed directly at 
the Patricians and for the benefit of the commonalty. The 
proposal as to debt was that all interest previously paid 
should be deducted from the principal, the remainder to be 
paid off in three years by equal installments: the next, 
touching the limitation of land, was that no one should 


possess more than five hundred jugera of land ; ' and the 
third was that the elections of military tribunes should 
cease, and that at least, one of the consuls should he chosen 
from the Plebeians. These were all matters of vast impor- 
tance, and such as could not be obtained without a desperate 

The Furious Resistance of the Patricians 

So was opened a contest in which were staked all those 
objects for which men have ever had the keenest desires, — 
land, money, and public honors. The Patricians were terrified 
and dismayed. They could find no other remedy [than 
their old expedient] of winning over the colleagues [of these 
two tribunes] to oppose their bill. 

[The vetoes of the other tribunes prevented the measures from 
being put to a vote in the assembly, but Sextius retaliated in 

" Well is it," spoke he, " that if it is intended that your 
protests should possess such power, that by this same weapon 
[of prohibition] we should protect the people. Come, Sir 
Patricians, call the assembly to select military tribunes. I 
will take care that the word Veto, which you hear our col- 
leagues chanting with so much pleasure, shall not prove so 
very pleasant in turn to you." 

Nor were his threats vain. No elections were held, ex- 
cept those of the gediles and tribunes of the Plebs. Licinius 
and Sextius were reelected tribunes, and they did not allow 
any curule magistrates ^ to be appointed. 'Eov five years this 
total absence of the [higher] magistrates continued. The 
Plebeians, however, continued to reelect the two [radical]. 

1 About 300 acres. This measure seems only to have applied to occupa- 
tion of the public land {ager publieus) . 

2 " Curule magistrates " at this time were practically the same thing as 
Patrician magistrates. 


tribunes of the Plebs, and these in turn prevented the 
election of military tribunes. 

[In this crisis a war broke out with Vehtrse (a Volscian town), 
and it was almost impossible to conduct it effectively, owing to the 
sturdy opposition now oifive Plebeian tribunes, although at first the 
two revolutionists had been alone among tlieir ten colleagues.] 

Tlie Plebeians are at Last Triumphant 

[This opposition and the attitude of the Patricians kept mat- 
ters for years at a deadlock, even actual foreign warfare being 
impeded by the tribunes. During the contest a dictator, Publius 
Manlius, named a Plebeian, Gaius Licinius, as his master of the horse. 
At last the resistance of the Patricians broke down.] 

The same tribunes Sextius and Licinius were reelected at 
length for the tenth time ; and they succeeded in passing a 
law which provided that of " The Board of Ten for attending 
to Religious Matters "one half should be Plebeians. This 
step seemed to open the way to the Consulship. [Soon after 
the dictator Camillus returned after defeating the Gauls] 
and by great struggles his opposition and that of the Senate 
were overcome. The elections for consuls were then held 
in spite of the resistance of the nobles, and Lucius Sextius 
was elected — the first consul of Plebeian rank. 

This was not entirely the end of the contest. The Patri- 
cians withheld their consent to the proceedings, and matters 
were close to a " Secession of the Plebeians," and other 
direful threats of civic tumult, but through the interference 
of the dictator matters were compromised, — the Patricians 
yielded to the Plebeians one consul ; and the Plebeians in 
turn granted to the Patricians that one of the latter should 
be elected as praetor to administer justice in the city.^ 

Harmony being at length restored among the orders, the 

1 Virtually he was almost a, third consul, although without the aaine 
formal honors. 


Senate [ordered that magnificent games should be held to 
celebrate the return of concord. J 

Livy, " History," booklH, chaps. 26-39 

The following story ascribed to 458 B.C. was one that later 
ages of Romans delighted to recall as a typical anecdote of the 
"good old'times" ; and the lapse of centuries does not make the 
" Republican simplicity " of Cincinnatus any less delightful. 
Note that the wars of Rome were still almost neighborhood 
affairs. The enemies of the Roman Republic, in its first century, 
were planted a very few rtiiles away ; and very gradually did the 
city by the Tiber cease to have only a mere Ager- — some farm 
lands outside the walls, and a few villages; and come to possess 
an Imperium, — a wide-stretching domain, with the frontier far 

[The Roman army was led out against the ^Equians by the 
consul Minucius, and being unskillfuUy generalled was presently 
inclosed by the enemy, who soon held the camp closely besieged. 
Just before their lines were inclosed, five Roman horsemen 
escaped through to the city with tidings of the peril. The alarm 
in Rome was great, and it was resolved to call in Lucius Quintius 
Cincinnatus to act as dictator in the emergency.] 

He [Cincinnatus] the sole hope of the Romans, cultivated 
a little farm of four jugera' across the Tiber. There he 
was either pushing upon a stake in a ditch, or busy plow- 
ing [when the envoys of the Senate came]. After saluting 
him they bade him put on his toga and listen to the com- 
mands of the Senate. He was greatly astonished and 
— asking repeatedly "if everything was. safe?" — called 
to his wife Eacilia, " to bring his toga from the hut." 

When he had put it on, and wiped ofE some of his sweat 
and dust, he presented himself ; and the envoys at once 
congratula.ted him and saluted him as dictator ; next they 
1 About two and a hall acres. 


summoned him into tlie city and explained the sore plight 
of the army. 

[He entered the city with due state, and spent the night 
posting guards and making preparations. The next morn- 
ing he was in the Forum ere daylight, and named Lucius 
Tarquitius his master of the horse. Then he ordered] a 
suspension of all civil business, ordered all the shops in the 
city closed, and forbade any one to attend to any private 
affairs. His next command .was for every man of military 
age to be with his weapons at the Campus Martins ere sun- 
down, with five days' provisions and twelve stout stakes, 
[while the older men were to be preparing victuals for the 
soldiers. Throughout Rome there prevailed the greatest 
zeal and bustle.] 

When the troops were formed, the dictator marched at 
the head of the infantry, and the master of the horse at the 
head of the cavalry. In both divisions the orders ran " to 
go on the double-quick. The consul and his Romans were 
besieged. They had now been shut in three whole days, 
and everything might be decided in a moment ! " And 
the troops, to please their chiefs, were always shouting, 
" Hurry, standard-bearer ! Follow on, comrade ! " At mid- 
night they were at Algidum, and halted near the enemy. 

[The dictator then reoonnoitered and presently] drew the 
whole host in a long column around the enemy's camp, and 
ordered that on the signal they should all raise the wai 
shout and thereupon every man throw up a trench before 
his position and fix the stakes he had in it. [This was 
successfully done, and the besieged Romans took heart at 
the shout, saying " Aid was at hand " ; whereupon the con- 
sul promptly ordered a sortie. The night passed amid 
fighting and with terror and confusion for the ^quians.] 

At dawn the jEquians were encompassed by the dictator's 
barriers, and scarce able to maintain the fight against a 
single army ; but their lines were now attacked by Cincin- 


natus's men also. So they were attacked furiously and 
continuously from both sides. Then, in their distress, they 
appealed to the dictator and the consul not to turn the 
victory into a massacre, but to suffer them to depart with- 
out their arms. The consul, however, ordered them "to go 
to the dictator" ; and the latter in his wrath against them, 
added ignominy to mere defeat. He ordered Gracchus 
Cloelius, their general, and their other leaders, to be haled 
before him in fetters, and enjoined that they should evacu- 
ate the town of Corbio [but asserted] : '' He did not want 
their blood. They could depart, but at last they must be 
brought to confess that their nation had been vanquished 
and crushed ; and so they must ' pass under the yoke.' " 

The " yoke " is formed of three spears, two whereof are 
fixed in the ground, and one is tied across between the upper 
ends. Under this "yoke" the dictator sent the jEquians. 
Their camp was taken, full of every kind of booty, — for 
they were sent away naked ; — and the dictator distributed 
the spoil to his own men only [telling the consul's army it 
was reward enough that they were rescued. But this army, 
grateful to Cincinnatus for his services, voted him] a golden 
crown of a pound's weight, and saluted him as their 
" patron," when they marched forth, [from their camp]. 

[He reentered Borne in triumph, the spoils and captive 
chiefs accompanying his procession, amid general rejoicing ; 
and] he laid down his dictatorship on the sixteenth day, al- 
though he had received it for six months. 

12. The Peesojstal Teaits and Characteristics of the 


Ammianus Marcelllnus, "History," book XV, chap. 12 

The following characterization of the Gauls is by a decidedly 
late Roman writer (fourth century a.d.), but the description is 
probably true in many substantial details to the followers of Brennus, 


who sacked Rome in 390 B.C. In the description will be noticed 
certain prominent traits of the less civilized classes of the Celtic 
peoples of to-day. 

Nearly all the Gauls are of a lofty stature, fair and of 
ruddy complexion ; terrible from the sternness of their eyes, 
very quarrelsome, and of great pride and insolence. A 
whole troop of foreigners would not be able to withstand a 
single Gaul if he summoned his wife to his assistance. The 
woman is usually very strong, and with blue eyes : [some- 
times] swelling her neck, gnashing her teeth, and brandishing 
her huge sallow arms, she begins to strike blows mingled 
with kicks, as if they were so many darts shot out of a cata- 

The voices of most Gauls are fierce and threatening, 
whether they are in good humor or angry ; they are all ex- 
ceedingly careful of cleanliness and neatness, nor in all the 
country, and especially in Aquitania [in the Southwest] 
could any man or woman, however poor, be seen either dirty 
or ragged. The men of every age are equally inclined to 
war, and the old men and men in the prime of life answer 
with equal zeal the call to arms, their bodies being hardened 
by their cold weather and their constant exercise, so that 
they are all inclined to despise dangers and terrors. Nor 
has any Gaul ever cut off his thumb [for fear of being levied 
in the army] as men have done in Italy. 

The Gauls are fond of wine, and of similar liquors. And 
many people of the lower classes, whose senses have been 
unsettled by continual intoxication, which the saying of 
Cicero defined to be a kind of voluntary madness, run about 
in all directions at random: so that there appears to be some 
point in that saying which is found in Cicero's oration in 
defense of Fonteius, " that henceforth the Gauls will drink 
their wine less strong than formerly" — because, it would 
seem, they thought there was poison in it. 


. 13. The Geese of the Capitol 

Livy, " History," book V, chaps. 47-49. Bohn Translation 

The story here given of how the Capitol was saved from surprise, 
and how later the Gauls were ejected from Eome [390 B.C.] is 
another tale of Livy which is never spoiled by repeating. The in- 
cident of the geese is probably in the main historical ; but it is 
very doubtful whether the Gauls were attacked by the dictator 
CamUlus as here described. Probably they retired with their ran- 
som money, and any vengeance with the sword came considerably 

The Capitol of Eome was meantime in great danger ; for 
the Gauls had remarked the easy ascent [to it] by the rock 
at the Temple of Carmeutis. On a moonlight night, after 
they had first sent ahead a man unarmed to test the way, by 
alternately supporting and being supported by one another, 
and drawing each other up, as the ground required, they 
gained the summit all in silence. Not merely had they es- 
caped the ken of the sentinels, but even the dogs, sensitive 
as they are to noises at night, had not been alarmed. But 
they did not escape the notice of the geese ; for these crea- 
tures were sacred to Juno, and had been accordingly spared 
[by the garrison] despite the scarcity of food. 

Thus it befell that Marcus Manlius, who had been consul 
three years earlier, and who was a redoubted warrior, was 
awakened by their hissing and the clapping of their wings. 
He snatched his arms, and calling loudly to his fellows, ran 
to the spot. Here he smote with the boss of his shield a 
Gaul who had already gained a foothold on the summit, and 
tumbled him headlong. The fall of this man as he crashed 
down dashed over those next to him. Manlius also slew 
certain others who in their alarm had cast aside their weap- 
ons and were clinging to the rocks. By this time the rest 
[of the Eomans] had rushed together, and crushed the enemy 
with darts and stones, so that the whole band, dislodged 


from their foothold, were hurled down the precipice in gen- 
eral ruin. 

At daylight, the soldiers were summoned by the trumpet 
to attend their [military] tribunes, for the meting out of 
rewards for merit and demerit. The first to be commended 
for bravery was Manlius, and he was presented with gifts — 
not merely by the military tribunes, but by the consent of 
the soldiers, for they all carried to his house, which was in 
the citadel, a donation of half a pound of corn and half a 
pint of wine : a trifling matter enough it seems in the 
telling, but in the prevailing scarcity a mighty proof of 
gratitude. The sentinel, however, who was manifestly neg- 
ligent, was cast down from the rock [to his death] with the 
approval of all; and from this time forth the guards on 
both sides were more vigilant. 

How the Gauls were driven from Rome 

[At length, however, the garrison became weakened by constant 
watching and by famine, while the Gauls found the ruined site of 
Rome highly unhealthful and the siege wearisome. Negotiations 
therefore took place between the leaders on both sides.] 

It was agreed between Quintus Sulpicius, a military 
tribune, and Brennus, the Gallic chief, that a thousand 
pounds weight of gold^ should be the ransom of a people 
so soon to be the veritable rulers of the world. The trans- 
action was humiliating enough ; but insult was added. 
False weights were brought by the Gauls, and when the 
tribune objected, the insolent Gaul threw in his sword, as 
an additional weight, while uttering words most intolerable 
to the Romans. " Woe to the vanquished !" 

[But at this moment, according to the story, the dictator 
Camillas appeared with his army, raised from the Roman refugees 
who had fled to Veil, and he ordered that the gold be withdrawn, 
while he told the Gauls to get ready for battle.] 

1 If taken literally, about 1225,000. 


The Gauls were thrown into confusion by this unexpected 
turn. They seized their arms, and with rage, rather than 
wisdom, they rushed upon the Romans. But fortune now 
had changed ; the aid of the gods and of human prudence 
alike aided the Romans. At the first encounter the Gauls 
were routed, even as easily as they had formerly won the 
day at the AUia. After they had fled as far as the eighth 
milestone on the Gabii road, they were beaten again by 
Camillus in a second battle. There the slaughter was uni- 
versal. Their camp was stormed, and not one soul was 
left to carry away the tale of the defeat. 

Having thus recovered his country from the enemy, 
Camillus returned to the city in triumph, and [the soldiers] 
styled him, with well-deserved praise, " Romulus," " Father 
of his Country," and " Second Founder of the City ! " 

14. The Censorship of Appius Claudius 

Livy, " History," book IX, chaps. 29, 30, 33, 34, 36. Bohn Translation 

Appius Claudius Caecus (he became blind in his old age) was 
censor in 312 B.C. The innovations he wrought during his 
magistracy may be regarded as part of the general process of 
leveling the Patricians with the Plebeians. The Claudii, although 
among the very noblest of the Patrician gentes, were often 
opposed to their fellow-nobles, and espoused the popular side, — 
for which they received abundant ill will from the Patricians^ as in 
the present case. The verdict of history, however, is that Appius 
Claudius was a far-sighted statesman : and that the much-abused 
sedUe Flavins was like unto him. 

This censorship of Appius Claudius and Gains Plautius was 
noteworthy. The name of Appius Claudius has, however, 
been held in particular temembrance because he made the great 
road [called after him the Via Appia], and because he built 
a water supply for the city. These works he executed alone, 
for his colleague, overwhelmed with shame, by reason of 


tlie infamous and unworthy choice [the censors] made of 
senators, had abdicated his office. But Appius possessed 
that inflexible temper which from of old had characterized 
his family, and he continued to act as censor all by himself. 
[For this clinging to office] he was, by the unrelenting 
■wrath of the gods, some years later, stricken blind. 

[When the new consuls came into office the following 
year] they complained in the Assembly, that by the evU. 
choice of senators [by the censors], the Senate had been 
disgraced, and declared "they would pay no attention 
to such appointments, which had been made merely to 
gratify interest or prejudice." They then at once had the 
Senate list called over [when they transacted business] in 
the same order which had prevailed before this censorship. 

The Strike of the Flute Players * 

In this year an event occurred which I [Livy] would omit 
as trifling if it did not have a certain religious bearing. 
The flute players' guild, taking offense because they had 
been prohibited by the last censors from holding their 
banquets at the Temple of Jupiter, as was their ancient 
usage, marched away in a body to Tibur ; so that nobody 
was left in Rome to play at the sacrifices. [The Senate 
sent envoys to Tibur to get the men sent back, and the 
Tiburtines, anxious to please the Senate] first urged the 
fellows " to return to Rome." When, however, they could 
not prevail on them, they practiced an artifice not unsuitable 
for the kind of people they had to deal with. On a festival 
day they invited the flute players into separate houses, as if 
they wanted to add the pleasures of music to their feasts. 
There the Tiburtines plied them with wine, of which such 

iThe solemn and matter-of-fact manner in which Livy relates this 
highly droll incident is an example of the serious manner in which the 
Romans took their history — ^ ho w unlike the treatment which would have 
been given hy a Greek, e.g. Herodotus 1 


fellows are always fond, until they had put them to 

In this state, all senseless as they were, they threw 
them into wagons, and carried them away to Rome. The 
flute players knew nothing of the business until, after the 
wagons had been left at the Forum, they were awakened by 
the daylight, and they found themselves still heavily sick 
from their debauch. The people now crowded about them, 
and when they had at length promised to stay in Eome, 
they were given the privilege of rambling about the city, in 
full dress and with their music, every year for a space of 
three days. 

Hoiv Appius Claudius clung to Office 

When Appius Claudius was censor and the eighteen 
months [legally allowed] for the duration of the censorship 
had expired, although his colleague Plautius had already 
resigned it, nothing could induce Jiim to lay it down. A 
certain tribune of the Plebeians, Publius Sempronius, under- 
took to bring the censor to trial to force him to lay down 
his oflSce; and his action was agreeable to every man of 
character.* [Sempronius vainly argued with Claudius, de- 
manding of him that he obey the law, and not defy the 
mandate of a tribune, but Claudius remained obdurate, and 
Sempronius at last] ordered the censor to be arrested and 
borne of£ to prison. But though six of the other tribunes 
approved of their colleague's doings, three supported Appius 
when he appealed to them; and he held the censorship 
alone [for the remaining three and a half years to which 
he claimed he was entitled] to the great disgust of all 
ranks of people.'' 

1 Livy with his aristocratic sympathies would not consider that Appius's 
" popular " partisans came within this category. 

2 This incident illustrates how a Roman magistracy did not technically 
expire with a set term, but had to be resigned formally by the incumbent 
before the office became really vacant. 


27*6 u^dileship of Flavins 

In [303 B.C.] Cneius Flavius, the actual grandson of a 
freedman, a notary, and a man of decidedly humble origin, 
but artful and eloquent, was elected curule sedile. 

Against the nobles, who insulted him for his mean begin- 
nings, he contended with much vigor. He published the 
rules of proceeding in legal cases, hitherto shut up in the 
closets of the pontiffs ; ^ and hung them up to public view, 
around the Forum, written out on white tablets that all 
might know when business could be transacted in the courts. 
To the wrath of the nobles, he performed the dedication of 
the Temple of Concord,^ and the Pontifex Maximus, Corne- 
lius Barbatus, was compelled, by the popular clamors, to 
dictate to him the correct formulas, although he asserted 
that "according to ancient usage, no one but a consul or 
a commanding general could dedicate a temple." 

[Flavius showed his ability to deal with the discourtesy 
of the nobles in this incident.] He went on a visit to 
his sick colleague; and [at the house] by prearrangement 
some young nobles who were sitting there, did not rise on 
his entrance ; thereupon he ordered his curule chair to be 
brought in, and from this honorable seat he surveyed with 
satisfaction his enemies as they were tortured with envy. 

It was the faction of the lower classes, however, that had 
gathered strength during Claudius's censorship, and which 
ra ade Flavius aedile. For Claudius was the first who degraded 
the Senate by electing into it the immediate descendants of freed- 
men. [He also] distributed the persons of the lowest classes 
among the several [35] Roman tribes [as full voters] and 
thus he corrupted [to his ends] the popular assemblies. 

1 And to be used by the nobles to their own great advantage against the 
uninstructed Plebeians. 

2 A ceremony which a Patrician would consider peculiarly reserved to 


As for Flavius, so much indignation did his election excite, 
that most of the nobles laid aside their gold rings and 
bracelets [as a sign of mourning.] 

[Claudius's arrangement was not accepted as permanent, 
however. The next censors] Fabius and Decius, to secure 
concord and to free the elections from the clutches of the 
lowest classes, purged the rest of the tribes of all the 
" Forum Eabble," and threw it into four tribes only, called 
" City Tribes." This arrangement gave general satisfaction. 


Plutarch, " Life of PyrrhuB," chaps. XVIH-XX 

Pyrrhus, king of Epirus (born 318 and died 272 B.C.), was 
perhaps the ablest general among the galaxy of skillful warriors in 
the generation of Grseco-Macedonians following Alexander. In 
his campaign to save Tarentum from the Eomans, he doubtless 
hoped to establish a dominion in the West somewhat correspond- 
ing to the great Macedonian's conquests in the East. He found, 
however, the Romans very different enemies from the Persians. 
His first victory (280 B.C.) cost him so dear that he was fain to 
send Oineas, his clever and extremely eloquent prime minister, 
"whose words had won him more cities than his own arms," to 
try the effects of negotiation. 

[The Eomans, notwithstanding their first defeat by 
Pyrrhus at Heracleia,] filled up their legions, and enlisted 
fresh men with all speed, talking high and boldly of war, 
which struck Pyrrhus with amazement. He thought it 
advisable to send first to make an experiment whether 
they had any inclination to treat, thinking that to take the 
city and make an absolute conquest was no work for such an 
army as his was at that time, but to settle a friendship, and 
bring them to terms, would be highly honorable after his 
victory. Cineas was dispatched away, and applied himself 
to several of the great ones, with presents for themselves 


and their ladies from the king ; but not a person would re- 
ceive any, and answered, as well men as women, that if an 
agreement were publicly concluded, they also should be 
ready, for their parts, to express their regard to the king. 
And Cineas, discoursing with the Senate in the most per- 
suasive and obliging manner in the world, yet was not 
heard with kindness or inclination, although Pyrrhus 
offered also to return all the prisoners he had taken in the 
fight without ransom, and promised his assistance for the 
conquest of all Italy, asking only their friendship for him- 
self, and security for the Tarentines, and nothing further. 

Nevertheless, most were well inclined to a peace, having 
already received one great defeat, and fearing another from 
an additional force of the native Italians, now joining with 
Pyrrhus. At this point Appius Claudius [the former 
censor], a man of great distinction, but who, because of 
his great age and loss of sight, had declined the fatigue of 
public business, after these propositions had been made by 
the king, hearing a report that the Senate was ready to vote 
the conditions of peace, could not forbear, but commanding 
his servants to take him up, was carried in his chair through 
the forum to the senate house. When he was set down at 
the door, his sons and sons-in-law took him up in their arms, 
and, walking close round about him, brought him into the 
Senate. Out of reverence for so worthy a man, the whole 
assembly was respectfully silent. 

And a little after raising up himself ; "I bore," said he, 
"until this time, the misfortune of my eyes with some 
impatience, but now while I hear of these dishonorable 
motions and resolves of yours, destructive to the glory of 
Eome, it is my affliction, that being already blind, I am not 
deaf too. — 

[" You have boasted that you could have defeated Alexan- 
der the Great: yet you are about to make peace with this 
Pyrrhus who was himself but a humble servant to one of 


Alexander's life guard.] Do not persuade yourselves that 
making him your friend is the way to send him back, it is 
the way rather to bring over other invaders from thence, 
contemning you as easy to be reduced, if Pyrrhus goes off 
without punishment for his outrages on you, but, on the 
contrary, with the reward of having enabled the Tarentines 
and Samnites to laugh at the Bomans." 

Cineas is dismissed without a Treaty 

When Appius had done, eagerness for the war seized on 
every man, and Cineas was dismissed with this answer, that 
when Pyrrhus had withdrawn his forces out of Italy, then, 
if he pleased, they would treat with him about friendship 
and alliance, but while he stayed there in arms, they were 
resolved to prosecute the war against him with all their 
force, though he should have defeated a thousand Lsevinuses.^ 
It is said that Cineas, while he was managing this affair, 
made it his business carefully to inspect the manners of the 
Romans, and to understand their methods of government, 
and having conversed with their noblest citizens, he after- 
wards told Pyrrhus, among other things, that the Senate 
seemed to him an assembly of kings, and as for the people, 
he feared lest it might prove that they were fighting with a 
Lernaean hydra, for the consul had already raised twice as 
large an army as the former, and there were many times 
over the same number of Eomans able to bear arms. 

Fabricius's Dealings with Pyrrhus 

Then Caius Fabricius came in embassy from the Romans 
to treat about the prisoners that were taken, one whom 
Cineas had reported to be a man of highest consideration 
among them as an honest man and a good soldier, but ex- 
tremely poor. Pyrrhus received him with much kindness, 
1 LsTinus commajided the Romans at the lost battle of Heraclea. 


and privately would have persuaded him to accept of his 
gold, not for any evil purpose, but calling it a mark of re- 
spect and hospitable kindness. Upon Fabricius's refusal, he 
pressed him no further, but the next day, having a mind to 
discompose him, as he had never seen an elephant before, he 
commanded one of the largest, completely armed, to be 
placed behind the hangings, as they were talking together. 
Whicli being done, upon a sign given the hanging was 
drawn aside, and the elephant, raising his trunk over the 
head of Fabricius, made an horrid and ugly noise. He, 
gently turning about and smiling, said to Pyrrhus, "Neither 
your money yesterday nor this beast to-day make any im- 
pression upon me." 

At supper, amongst all sorts of things that were dis- 
coursed of, but more particularly Greece and the philoso- 
phers there, Cineas, by accident, had occasion to speak of 
Epicurus, and explained the opinions his followers hold 
about the gods and the commonwealth, and the object of life, 
placing the chief happiness of man in pleasure, and declin- 
ing public affairs as an injury and disturbance of a happy 
life, removing the gods afar off both from kindness or anger, 
or any concern for us at all, to a life wholly without busi- 
ness and flowing in pleasures. Before he had done speaking, 
" Hercules ! " Fabricius cried out to Pyrrhus, " may 
Pyrrhus and the Samnites entertain themselves with this 
sort of opinions as long as they are in war with us." Pyr- 
rhus, admiring the wisdom and gravity of the man, was the 
more transported with desire of making friendship instead 
of war with the city, and entreated him, personally, after 
the peace should be concluded, to accept of living with him 
as the chief of his ministers and generals. Fabricius an- 
swered quietly, " Sir, this will not be for your advantage, 
for they who now honor and admire you, when they have 
had experience of me, will rather choose to be governed by 
me, than by you." Such was Fabricius. And Pyrrhus 


received his answer without any resentment or tyrannic 
passion ; nay, among his friends he highly commended the 
great mind of Fabriciiis, and intrusted the prisoners to 
him alone, on condition that if the Senate should not vote a 
peace, after they had conversed with their friends and 
celebrated the festival of Saturn, they should be remanded. 
And, accordingly, they were sent back after the holidays ; 
it being decreed pain of death for any that stayed behind. 

16. The Training of Roman Nobles in the Best 
Period op the Ebpublic 

Heitland, "Roman Republic," vol. I, p. 184 

The Romans were at their best probably at about the end of 
the First Punic War (241 B.C.). Their social system was not 
calculated to produce truly great men ; but it was exceedingly well 
calculated to produce men of very fair ability. What was the 
strength and what the weakness of the training given young 
Eoman noblemen, is well stated by a recent English writer. Let 
it be remembered that it was men trained in this manner who 
finally wore away the genius of Hannibal. 

[Amid austere] surroundings the young Eoman of good 
family grew up. Reared in the stern unchallenged disci- 
pline of home, he willingly attended his father as he went 
through the duties and occupations of the day. Thus he 
learned by actual observation at an impressionable age what 
things were enjoined or forbidden by ancestral custom. 
The exact formalities of sacrifices, the dates of festivals, the 
order of proceedings in the various Assemblies, the compe- 
tence of the various magistrates, the usages of the law courts, 
the forms of buying and selling and contracts, the episodes 
of the registration if a Census was being held, or of the 
military levy if preparations were on foot for a campaign ; 
these and many other matters would from time to time be 
present to his eager eyes and ears. He would ask questions 


and receive explanations, and by the time he was himself 
of age to begin his public career, he would have acquired a 
considerable store of experience and precedent. 

As he laid aside the games of childhood, his chief sports 
were running and riding on horseback in the Campus 
Martins and swimming in the Tiber. With the completion 
of his sixteenth year he became a man of military age 
(juvenis), liable to be called out for service. From this time 
onward he remained a servant of the state, first as a soldier, 
later in a civil capacity. His ambition was to be a Roman 
of the Romans, to excel in representing a type of which he 
and his comrades were not unreasonably proud. And the 
nobles of this [best] period, judged from this point of view, 
were as a rule efficient and sturdy patriots, worthy of the 
support of the sound Roman people, the farmers of the 
country side. 

In short, the training of the men who led Rome was good 
and practical within its own narrow range. It served to 
build up the Roman power at home; it sufficed for the con- 
quest of Italy ; [but it broke down when the complicated 
problems of a great world empire were thrust upon the Re- 

17. A Leakned Greek's Analysis of the Roman 

Polybius, " History," book VI, chap. 1 ff. Shuckburgh's Translation 

About the year 140 B.C. Polybius, a learned Greek, wrote this 
analysis of the factors in the Roman Constitution, which had en- 
abled the Latins to master the Carthaginians, Greeks, and Asiatics. 
Polybius had lived long in Italy, and had enjoyed abundant oppor- 
tunities for observation. His comments possess an extremely high 
value. He wrote shortly before the period of civil commotions, " 
while the old constitution was still standing outwardly intact, and 
with only a few internal signs of decay. 


As for the Eioman constitution it had three elements, each 
of them possessing sovereign powers, and their respective 
share of power in the whole state had been regulated with 
such careful heed to equality and poise, that no one could 
say surely — not even a native — whether the constitution 
as a whole were an aristocracy or democracy or despotism. 
And no wonder ; on looking at the power of the Consuls it 
seems despotic ; if on that of the Senate as aristocratic ; and 
if finally one regards the power of the People, it would seem 
sheer democracy. 

The Powers of the Consuls 

The Consuls, before leading out the legions, remain in 
Eome and are chiefs of the [civil] administration. All other 
magistrates, save the Tribunes, are under them, and take 
their orders. They introduce foreign ambassadors to the 
Senate, bring matters requiring deliberation before it, and 
see to the execution of its decrees. If, again, there are any 
matters of state which require the authorization of the People, 
it is their business to see to them, to summon the popular 
meetings, to bring the proposals before them, and to carry 
out the decrees of the majority. In the preparations for 
war also, and in a word in the entire administration of a cam- 
paign, they have almost absolute power. They can impose 
on the allies such levies as they think good ; also appoint 
the military tribunes, make up the roll for soldiers, and 
select those that are fit. Besides, they have absolute power 
of inflicting punishment on all who are under their command 
while on active service ; and they have authority to expend 
as much of the public money as they choose, being accom- 
panied by a quEestor, who is entirely at their orders. A 
survey of these powers would in fact justify our describing 
the constitution as despotic, — a clear case of royal govern- 


!Z%e Powers of the Senate 

[But on the other hand] The Senate has first of all 
the control of the treasury, and regulates the receipts and 
disbursements alike ; for the Quaestors cannot issue any- 
public money for the various departments of the state, with- 
out a decree of the Senate, except for the service of the Con- 
suls. The Senate controls, too, what is by far the largest and 
most important expenditure, — that, namely, which is made 
by the censor every lustrum [fifth year] for the repair or con- 
struction of public buildings ; this money cannot be obtained 
by the censors except by a grant of the Senate. Similarly all 
crimes committed in Italy, requiring a public investigation, 
such as treason, conspiracy, poisoning or willful murder, are 
in the hands of the Senate. Besides, if any individual or 
state among the Italian allies requires a controversy to be 
settled, a penalty to be- assumed, help or protection to be 
afPorded — all this is in the province of the Senate. 

Or again, outside Italy, if it is necessary to send an em- 
bassy to reconcile communities at war, or to remind them 
of their duty, or sometimes to impose requisitions upon 
them, or receive their submission, or finally to proclaim 
war against them — all this is the business of the Senate. 
In like manner the reception to be given to foreign am- 
bassadors in Eome, and the answers to be returned to 
them, are decided by the Senate. With such business the 
People have nothing to do. Consequently, if one were 
staying at Kome when the Consuls were not in town, one 
would imagine the constitution to be a complete aristocracy, 
and this has been the idea held by many Greeks, and by 
many kings as well, from the fact that nearly all the busi- 
ness they had at Rome was settled by the Senate. 


The Powers of the Roman People 

[After this one naturally asks what part is left for the 
People, but] they have a part and that a most important 
one. For the People are the sole fountain of honor and of 
punishment; and it is by these two things, and these 
alone, that dynasties, and constitutions, and, in a word, hu- 
man society, are held together. The People are the only 
court to decide matters of life and death ; also even cases 
where the penalty is a fine, if the assessment be a heavy 
one, and especially where the accused have held high 
magistracies. . . . Men who are on trial for their lives at 
Eome, while the sentence is in process of being voted — if 
even only one of the tribes whose votes are needed to ratify 
the sentence has not voted, have the privilege at Rome of 
openly departing and condemning themselves to a voluntary 
exile. Such men are safe at Naples, or Prseneste, or Tibur, 
and other towns with whom this arrangement has been 
duly ratified on oath. 

Again the People bestow public of&ces on the deserving, 
which are the most honorable rewards of virtue. It [the 
Popular Assembly] has the absolute power of passing or 
repealing laws ; and, most important of all, it is the People 
who deliberate on the question of peace or war. And when 
provisional terms are made for alliance, suspension of hos- 
tilities or treaties, it is the People who ratify or reject them. 

These considerations would lead one to say that the chief 
power in the state was the People's, — that the constitution 
was a democracy. 

The Relations of Each Part to the Other 

I must now show how each of these several parts can, when 
they choose, oppose or support one another. 

The Consul, then, when he has started on an expedition, 
seems to be absolute, still he needs both the People and the 


Senate to help him, otherwise he will have no success. 
Plainly he must have supplies sent his legions occasionally : 
but without a decree of the Senate they can get neither corn, 
clothes, nor pay ; so that all the plans of a general are futile, 
if the Senate is resolved either to shrink from danger, or to 
hamper his plans, And again, whether a Consul shall bring 
any undertaking to a conclusion or not, depends entirely on 
the Senate ; for it has absolute authority at the end of the 
year to send another Consul to supersede him, or to 
continue the existing one in his command as [proconsul]. 
[Again the Senate controls the matter of the much-prized 
triumphs] for the generals cannot celebrate them with the' 
proper pomp, nor sometimes celebrate them at all, unless the 
Senate concurs and grants the necessary money. As for the 
People, that body ratifies or rejects treaties, terms of peace 
and the like ; and especially when the Consuls lay down 
their ofiBce they have to give an account of their adminis- 
tration, before it. [Consequently the Consuls are obliged to 
court popular favor.] 

As for the Senate, it is obliged to take the multitude into 
account and respect the wishes of the People. It cannot 
execute [death sentences] unless the People first ratify its 
decrees. Also in matters directly affecting Senators — e.g. 
laws diminishing the Senate's traditional authority, or de- 
priving Senators of certain dignities and of&ce, or even 
actually cutting down their property, — even in such cases 
the People have the sole power of passing or rejecting the 
law. But most important of all is the fact that, if the 
[Popular] Tribunes interpose their veto, the Senate not 
merely cannot pass a decree, but cannot even hold a meeting 
at all, — formal or informal. Now the Tribunes are always 
bound to execute the will of the People, and above all 
things to have regard to the public wishes ; therefore for 
all these reasons the Senate stands in awe of the multitude, 
and cannot neglect the feelings of the People. 


In like manner' the People are far from being independent 
of the Senate. For contracts innumerable are given out by 
the Censors to all parts of Italy for the repair or construc- 
tion of public buildings ; there is also the collection of 
revenues from many rivers, harbors, forests, mines, and 
land, — everything in a word that comes under the control 
of the Roman government ; and in all these the People at 
large are engaged; so that there is scarcely a man, so to 
speak, who is not interested either as a contractor or as 
being employed in the works. For some purchase the con- 
tracts from the censors themselves ; others go partners with 
them, while others again go security for these contractors, 
and actually pledge their property to the treasury for them. 
Now over all these transactions the Senate has absolute 
control ; it can grant an extension of time, [in emergency it 
can lighten or release the contract, or enforce it on the 
contractors with such severity as to ruin all involved.] 
But most important of all is the fact that the judges are 
taken from the Senate for most lawsuits, whether criminal 
or civil, in which the charges are heavy. Consequently all 
citizens are at the Senate's mercy; they do not know when 
they may need its aid, and are cautious about resisting or 
actively opposing its will. For a similar reason men do 
not rashly resist the Consuls, because every one may become 
subject to their absolute [military J authority on a campaign. 

The Excellence of the Roman Constitution 

The result of this power of the several estates for mutual 
help or harm is a union sufi&ciently firm for all emergencies, 
and a constitution which it is impossible to find a better. 
Whenever any foreign danger compels them to unite and 
work together, the strength which is developed by the 
State is so extraordinary that everything required is un- 
failingly carried out by the eager rivalry of all classes. 


while each individual works, privately arid publicly alike, 
for the accomplishment of the business in hand. 

18. The Honesty of Roman Officials at the Best 
Period of the Republic 

Polybius, "History," book VI, chap. 66. Shuckburgh's Translation 

Before the decline of the old Roman spirit the honesty and gen- 
eral integrity of the Roman oificials was something that excited 
the admiration and wonderment of the vastly more venal Greeks. 
Polybius also considers them far superior to the Carthaginians. 
Beyond a doubt this high standard of honor was as much of help 
to the Romans in their wars as many additional swordsmen. 

The Roman customs and principles regarding money 
transactions are better than those of the Carthaginians. In 
the view of the latter nothing is disgraceful that makes for 
gain ; with the former nothing is more disgraceful than to 
receive bribes and to make profit by improper means. For 
they regard wealth obtained by unlawful dealings as much 
a subject of reproach as a fair profit from the most unques- 
tioned source is of commendation. A proof of the fact is 
this. The Carthaginians obtain office by open bribery, but 
among the Romans the penalty for it is death. With such 
a radical difference, therefore, between the rewards offered 
virtue among the two peoples, it is natural that the ways for 
obtaining them should be different also. . . . 

[Again as contrasted with the Greeks, the Romans have 
the advantage, especially through their more sincere reli- 
gious faith.J To my mind the Ancients were not acting at 
random when they brought in among the vulgar those opin- 
ions about the gods and the belief in the punishments in 
Hades ; much rather do I think that men nowadays are 
acting rashly and foolishly in rejecting them. This is the 
reason, why apart from anything else, Greek statesmen, if 
intrusted with a single talent, though protected by ten 


checking clerks, as many seals, and twice as many witnesses, 
yet cannot be induced to keep faith ; whereas the Romans, 
in their magistracies and embassies, have the handling of 
great sums of money, but from pure respect of their oath 
keep their faith intact. And again in other nations, it is a 
rare thing to find a man who keeps his hands out of the 
public purse, and is entirely pure in such matters ; but 
among the Romans it is a rare thing to detect a man com- 
mitting such a crime. 

Some Specific Instances of Roman Honesty 

[In another passage Polybius concedes that recently in his own 
day the Romans had declined from this high standard of virtue; 
stUl he holds them in the main highly honest.] [Book XVIII, 
chap. 35.] 

As evidence that I am making no impossible assertion, I 
would quote two names, which will command general as- 
sent, — I name first Lucius ^milius, who conquered Perseus 
and won the kingdom of Macedonia. In that kingdom, be- 
sides all the other splendor and wealth, was found in the 
treasury more than 6000 talents of gold and silver [over 
$6,000,000], yet he was so far from coveting any of this 
that he even refused to see it, and administered it by the 
hands of others. And this though he was not at all very 
rich; on the contrary, very poorly off. At least I know 
that on his death, which occurred shortly after the war, when 
his own sons Publius Seipio and Quintus Maximus wished 
to pay his wife her dowry, amounting to twenty-five talents 
[say $25,000], they were reduced to such straits they would 
have been unable to do so if they had not sold the household 
furniture and slaves, and some landed property besides. 
[This fact] seemingly incredible [can be readily ascertained 
on a few inquiries at Rome.] 

Again Publius Seipio, son by blood of this .ffirbilius, and 


[grandson by adoption of Scipio the Gjeat], when he got 
possession of Carthage, reckoned the wealthiest city in the 
world, took absolutely nothing of it for his own private use, 
either by purchase or by any other means of acquisition 
whatever, although he again was by no means a rich man, 
but of very moderate estate for a Eoman. But he not only 
abstained from all the wealth of Carthage, but refused to 
allow anything from Africa at all to be mixed up with his 
private property. 

[Book XXXII, chap. 8, Polybius, speaking again of the disin- 
terestedness and incorruptibility of many Romans, warns his Greek 
hearers against disbelief even if to them such probity seems in- 

Let my readers fully consider that the Eomans more 
than any other people will take my books in their hands^ 
— because the most splendid and numerous achievements 
recorded therein belong to them ; and with them the truth 
about the facts could not possibly be unknown. No one 
then would voluntarily expose himself to certain disbelief 
and contempt. And let this be kept in mind when I seem 
to make a startling assertion about the Romans. 

19. Roman State Funerals and their Influence 

Polybius, "History," book VI, chaps. 62 and 53. Shuckburgh's Translation 

How under the old Republican system, some even of the essen- 
tially private acts of society were made to minister to a worthy 
public end is set forth by Polybius. The great state funerals at 
Rome must have awakened almost as much interest as the games 
in the circus. 

One example will be sufficient to show the pains taken by 
the Eoman state to turn out men ready to endure anything 
to win a reputation in their country for valor. [It is this :] 
Whenever one of their famous men dies, in the course of hig 


funeral, tlie body with all its paraphernalia is carried into 
the Forum to the Rostra, as a raised platform there is called, 
and sometimes is propped upright upon it so as to be con- 
spicuous, or more rarely is laid upon it. Then with all the 
people standing around, the son of the deceased, if he has 
left one of full age and he is there, or failing him, one of 
his relations, mounts the Rostra and delivers a speech con- 
cerning the virtues of the departed, and the successful ex- 
ploits performed by him in his lifetime. 

By these means the people are reminded of what has been 
done, and made to see it with their own eyes : not only 
such as were engaged in the actual transactions, but those 
also who were not ; and their sympathies are so deeply 
moved, that the loss appears not to be confined to the actual 
mourners, but to be a public one affecting, the whole people. 
After the burial and the usual ceremonies have been per- 
formed, they place the likeness of the deceased in the most 
conspicuous spot in his house, surmounted by a wooden 
canopy or shrine. This likeness consists of a mask made 
to represent the deceased with extraordinary fidelity both 
in shape and color. These likenesses they display at public 
sacrifices adorned with much care. 

When any illustrious member of the family dies, they 
carry these masks to the funeral, putting them on men 
whom they think as like the originals as possible, in 
height and other personal peculiarities. And these sub- 
stitutes assume clothes, according to the rank of the person 
represented; if he was st, consul or praetor, a toga with 
purple stripes ; if a censor, a toga wholly of purple ; ' if he 
had celebrated a triumph or performed any like exploit, a 
toga embroidered with gold. These representatives also 
themselves ride in chariots, while the fasces and axes, and 
all the other customary insignia of the peculiar offices, lead 

1 There is some reason to doubt whether Polybius is correct here about 
the censor's robes. 


the way, according to the dignity of the rank in the state 
enjoyed by the deceased in his lifetime. Upon reaching 
the Rostra they all take their seats on ivory [curule] chairs 
in their order. 

The Public Gain from Such Display 

There could not easily be imagined a more inspiring 
spectacle than this for a young man of noble ambitions and 
virtuous aspirations. For can we conceive any one to be 
unmoved at the sight of all the likenesses collected together 
of the men who have earned glory, all as it were living and 
breathing ? Or what could be a more glorious spectacle ? 

[After the eulogy of the person just died, other eulogies 
are delivered recounting the great deeds of each ancestor 
represented.] By this means the glorious memory of brave 
men is continually renewed ; the fame of those who have 
wrought any noble deed is never allowed to die ; and the 
renown of those who have done good service to their father- 
land becomes a matter of common knowledge to the multi- 
tude and part of the heritage of posterity. But the chief 
gain comes from inspiring young men to shrink from no 
exertion for the general welfare, in hope of obtaining the 
glory that awaits the brave ; and many Romans have indeed 
volunteered to decide a whole battle by single combat, and 
not a few have accepted certain death. [There are many 
cases of heroic self-sacrifice for the sake of the fatherland.] 


Almost no wars in history rise to the importance of the "Punic 
Wars" between Kome and Carthage. If Eome had been ruined 
soon after she united Italy under her sway ; if the task of civi- 
lizing . Bpain, Gaul, Britain had been intrusted to the merchant 
princes and the priests of Baal of the great Semitic city of Africa, 
here again — as of the Persian Wars — one may say history 
would have been so altered, that it is waste of time to conjecture 
what might have emerged. Not merely did Rome destroy Car- 
thage, but in the tremendous military eflfort involved she devel- 
oped an army system which made her subsequent conquest of the 
discordant Hellenistic kingdoms mere child's play. The victory of 
Zama carried with it by implication the victories of Oynoscephalse, 
Magnesia, Pydna, Corinth, and the great battles won over Mith- 

In the Punic Wars we see the Eoman national genius at its 
best. Brilliant individual leaders are few or none. Even Scipio 
the Elder barely rises to the rank of a genuine rival to Hannibal. 
But the spirit of the Roman people is superb. The courage and 
wisdom of tlie Senate in the great crises marks the Roman nobil- 
ity on the whole as the ablest aristocracy the world has ever seen. 
We know that Rome conquered because she deserved to conquer, 
and no admiration naturally evoked for the dauntless achievements 
of Hannibal can destroy our greater admiration for the race of 
hard-headed, hard-handed Italian farmers, who never quailed at 
any disaster, who never " despaired of the Republic," who never 
counted treasure or effort or life too dear for the " Patria." 

To one fact our study of merely military details must not make 
us blind. Rome was victorious, but at an exceedingly heavy 
price. Tens of thousands of her youth had perished. Industry, 



agriculture, and commerce had been nigh ruined throughout the 
peninsula. An undue accent had been laid upon the war virtues, 
so that it must have been exceedingly hard for very many Italians 
to settle down again to the quiet arts of peace. If the wars, 
however, had almost ruined the hardy country yeomanry, they had. 
brought easily won riches to many of the aristocracy, who would 
be anxious for new wars, commands, and pillagings. The direct 
result of the Punic Wars was the conquests in the East and the 
extension of the Roman provincial system around the Mediterra- 
nean ; but the period of civil war and of painful reconstruction 
which followed these conquests was likewise almost as truly the 
result of the great struggle with Carthage. 

Nearly all the excerpts in this chapter relate of course to the 
Second Punic War, to which the fiist war was a mere prelude, 
the third an epilogue. We cannot complain that Roman annals 
for this period lack vividness or human interest ; the only diffi- 
culty has been to select among the numerous first-class incidents, 
and to make the extracts as short as possible. 

20. Hokace's Ode on Rbgulus's Depabtuke foe 

Horace, "Odes," book III, ode 5. De Vere's Translations 

In 255 B.C. Regulus the consul with most of his army was 
taken prisoner by the Carthaginians. In 250 B.C. they sent an 
embassy to Rome to solicit peace, accompanied by Regulus, on the 
promise that he would return to Carthage if their proposals were 
not accepted. Coming before the Senate, Regulus urged the Ro- 
mans to reject the terms of peace and, resisting the entreaties of 
his friends, returned to Carthage, where he was put to a cruel death. 
This incident became famous as an example of true Roman patri- 
otism, and is thus glorified by Horace. 

With warning voice of stern rebuke 
Thus Regulus the Senate shook : 
He saw — prophetic — in far days to come 
The heart corrupt and future doom of Rome. 


" These eyes," he cried, " these eyes have seen 

Unbloodied swords from warriors torn, 

And Eoman standards nailed in scorn 

On Punic shrines obscene ; 

Have seen the hands of free-born men 

Wrenched back and bound ; th' unguarded gate ; 

And fields our war laid desolate 

By Romans tilled again. 

" What ! will the gold-enfranchised slave 
Return more loyal or more brave? 

Ye heap but loss on crime ? 
The wool that Cretan dyes disdain 
Can ne'er its virgin hue regain : 
And valor fallen and disgraced 
Revives not in a coward breast 

Its energy sublime. 

" The stag released from hunters' toils 
From the dread sight of man recoils, 
Is he more brave than when of old 
He ranged the forest free ? Behold 
In him your soldier ! He has knelt 
To faithless foes ; he too has felt 
The knotted cord ; and crouched beneath 
Fear, not of shame, but death. 

" He sued for peace tho' vowed to war ; 
Will such men, girt in arms once more, 
Dash headlong on the Punic shore ? 
No ! they will buy their craven lives 
With Punic scorn and Punic gyves. 
d mighty Carthage, rearing high 
Thy fame upon our infamy, 
A city, aye, an empire built 
On Roman ruins, Roman guilt ! " 


From the chaste kiss and wild embrace 
Of wife and babes he turned his face, 

A man self-doomed to die : 
Then bent his manly brow, in scorn, 
Eesolved, relentless, sad, but stern, 

To earth, all silently ; 
Till counsel never heard before 
Had nerved each wavering Senator ; 
Till flushed each cheek with patriot shame, 
And surging rose the loud acclaim : — 
Then from his weeping friends, in haste. 
To exile aad to death he passed. 

He knew the tortures that Barbaric hate 

Had stored for him. Exulting in his fate 
With kindly hand he waved away 
The crowds that strove his course to stay. 

He passed them all, as when in days of yore. 

His judgment given, thro' client throngs he pressed 
In glad Venafriau fields to seek his rest. 

Or Greek Tarentum on the Southern shore. 

21, The Youth and Character of Hannibal 

Livy, " History," book XXI, chaps. 1, 3, 4 

Very few military leaders can be compared to Hannibal ; his 
only real peers are Alexander, Csesar, and Napoleon, and there is 
some reason to think that he surpasses them all. Considering the 
very important part he plays in history, we know surprisingly 
little about his personality. This is partly due to the fact that 
all Carthaginian accounts of his wars have been lost, and it was 
very hard for Koman writers, e.g. Livy, as here quoted, to do 
justice to their great enemy. All that the latter say in his praise 
may be accepted, and their derogatory remarks may well be ques- 
tioned. If Hannibal had been heartily sustained by the home gov- 
ernment at Carthage, he might have conquered ; as it was, the 


greatest military genius yfiw ever lived attacked the most m/ilitary 
people which ever existed — and the genius was defeated, after a 
sixteen years' war. 

I [Livy] may be permitted to begin this part of my book 
with saying what most historians have announced at the 
beginning of their whole narrative, namely — that I am 
about to relate the most memorable of all the wars which were 
ever waged: the war which the Carthaginians, led by Hanni- 
bal, maintained with the Roman people. For never did any 
other states or nations with mightier recourses join in com- 
bat, nor did these nations in question possess, at any other 
time, such vast power and energy as then. They brought 
into action, too, no arts of war unknown to each other, but 
only those which had been previously tested in the First 
Punic War ; and again so fluctuating was the conflict, so 
hesitant the award of victory, that the side which finally 
conquered was for long the side most exposed to danger. 
The hatred of the fighters was almost greater than their 
power. The Romans were wrathful that those conquered 
[in the last war] should take the offensive against their 
conquerors : the Carthaginians [equally enraged] because 
they felt that during their humiliation they had been lorded 
over with haughtiness and rapacity. 

The loss of Sicily and Sardinia* had grieved the high 
spirit of Hamilcar [the father of Hannibal] ; for he deemed 
that Sicily had been surrendered out of premature despair, 
and that Sardinia had been taken treacherously by the 
Romans during the uproars [of insurrection against Car- 
thage] in Africa ; while in addition a heavy tribute had been 

[First Hamilcar, and then, after his death, his son-in-law, 
Hasdrubal, carried the Carthaginian arms and influence into Spain 

1 These islands were of course the fruit of the final Roman victory in 
the First Funic War. 


until the peninsula was almost entirely in the power of the great 
African city. Presently Hasdrubal was murdered in a private 
quarrel, and the demand was made by the Spanish army that 
young Hannibal should take the command.] 

No one doubted that in appointing a successor to Has- 
drubal, the wishes of the commonalty [of Carthage] would 
agree with the desires of the soldiers. The latter indeed 
had at once carried Hannibal to the government house, and 
hailed him as " General " amid loud cheers and marked 
approval. Hasdrubal had earlier sent for him by letter 
while he was just arrived to manhood, and his case then 
had been discussed in the [Carthaginian] Senate, when the 
Barcine faction [to which Hannibal belonged] u.sed all its 
influence to secure that he might be trained for military 
service, with a view to succeed to his father's command. 
Hanno, leader of the opposing party, then said, " Hasdrubal 
seems to ask what is reasonable, still I think his request 
ought to be refused." [He then went on to argue that 
rearing Hannibal in the expectation of a great command 
like that in Spain, would fit him only to play the tyrant 
over the Carthaginians. He concluded by saying :] " To my 
mind this young fellow should be kept at home, under the 
restraint of the laws and the power of the magistrates, and 
taught to live on an equal footing with the rest of the 
citizens, lest at some future time this small fire of his 
should kindle a vast conflagration." 

A few [Senators] and those of the greatest worth, agreed 
with Hanno ; but as usually happens the more numerous 
faction prevailed over their betters. Hannibal was sent to 
Spain, and from his first arrival caught the eye of the whole 
army. The veterans saw again, as it were, Hamilear in his 
youth restored to them ; they beheld the old accustomed 
vigor in his looks; and speedily Hannibal took care that the 
memory of his father should be the least of the reasons 
why they esteemed him. 


Never was there a genius more fitted for those two most 
opposite duties — obeying and commanding. Not readily 
could one decide whether he was more the favorite of his 
general or of the army. To none did Hasdrubal prefer in- 
trusting the command, rather than to him, when a deed 
needing activity and courage was called for. Under no 
other leader did the soldiers feel more confidence and 
boldness. Before perils Hannibal showed the uttermost 
fearlessness, and amid them the uttermost prudence. His 
body was not to be exhausted, nor his mind benumbed, 
however severe the toil. Heat or cold he endured alike. 

The mere wants of nature, not appetite, dictated the 
amount of his food and drink. He could sleep or keep 
awake at any and all hours. What time he could spare he 
indeed devoted to slumber, but for that he asked neither a 
soft bed nor a quiet spot. Men have seen him, wrapped in 
his military cloak, lying on the bare ground, amid the 
watches and outposts of his soldiers. He did not dress 
more bravely than his social equals, but he was distinguished 
by fine horses and weapons. [In battle] he was preemi- 
nently the first alike "of the horse and of the foot, — the 
foremost indeed in the charge, but also the last on the 

Grievous shortcomings, however, counterbalanced these 
noble virtues of a true hero. He displayed excessive 
cruelty, and more than "Punic"" perfidy.* He did not 
' revere the ordinances of religion, and feared not gods, 
oaths, nor religious sentiments. With a character thus 
made up of a combination of virtues and vices, he served 
for three years under the command of Hasdrubal, without 
neglecting anything which ought to have been done or 
seen by a man who was to become a great general. 

'As siigge.sted in the introduction, Livy Is hardly fair to Hannibal. 
There is no reason for believing that he was less humane and oath-keeping 
than the average military chieftain of his day. 


22. Hannibal's Hostility to Rome 

Cornelius Nepos, " Life of Hannibal," chap. 2. Bohn Translation 

Never was hatred keener than Hannibal's for Rome. It should 
be remembered that he was an Oriental, a Semite, with all the 
powers of deep and inveterate passion peculiar to his race. How 
in his boyhood he was taught to be the peculiar enemy of Rome 
is told in this narrative attributed to himself. 

[When Hannibal was an exile at the court of Philip V 
of Macedonia, he said to that king : J " My father Hamil- 
car, when I was a very little boy, only some nine years 
old, offered sacrifices at Carthage, when he was going to 
take command in Spain, to ' Jupiter Best and Greatest,' ^ 
and while these rites were going on, he asked me ' Whether 
I should like to go with him to camp ?' As I expressed 
extreme willingness to go, and begged him not to delay 
taking me, he replied, ' I will do so, if you will give me 
the promise which I ask.' Thereupon he led me to 
the altar at which he had begun to sacrifice, and, sending the 
rest of the company away, required jne, taking hold of the 
altar, to swear ' That I ivould never hold friendship with 
the Romans.^ This oath, thus taken before my father, I 
have most strictly kept even to this day." 

23. How THE Second Punic War was Declared 

Livy, "History," book XXI, chap. 18 

In 219 B.C. Hannibal having completed his preparations in 
Spain, attacked Saguntum, a city on the coast of the peninsula 
allied to Rome ; thus precipitating the mighty Second Punic War. 
Probably neither side had the least realization of the tremendous 

1 This does not mean that the Carthaginians worshiped the same gods 
that the Romans did, but merely shows the Roman tendency to give their 
own names to foreign gods. Probably Baal-Moloch was the deity to whom 
Hamilcar sacrificed. 


and history-making struggle which they were commencing, an&. 
which was to end in the ruin of Carthage after almost ruining 

In order that everything might be done that was proper, 
before they commenced the war, the Romans sent Quintus 
Fabius [and four others], men of advanced years as ambas- 
sadors, to go to Africa and ask the Carthaginians " whether 
Hannibal had laid siege to Saguntum by their public au- 
thority." ^ And if, as seemed likely, the Carthaginians did 
so confess, the envoys were then to declare war upon them. 

When the Romans reached Carthage they were given an 
audience by the Council. Here Quintus Fabius simply 
pressed the question which had been laid upon him, whereat 
one of the Carthaginians answered : — 

" Your former embassy [sent some time ago], good Romans, 
was precipitate enough, when you demanded that Hannibal 
be surrendered to you, because he had attacked Saguntum on 
his own authority. But for this last embassy, although your 
words are milder, your demands are really more severe. For 
then Hannibal was simply accused, and his Surrender re- 
quired. Now you require of us a [public] confession of 
wrong, and as though we had confessed to the fact, restitu- 
tion is then promptly demanded. [But the treaty as to your 
rights in Spain — -which is under discussion — was made 
by Hasdrubal, apparently without our proper authority. So 
we decline to argue about that case of Saguntum.] If your 
treaties do not bind you unless they are made by your proper 
authority, so neither can one bind us which Hasdrubal made 
without our knowledge. Cease then [to talk thereof], and 
tell us plainly what you have so long been really meditating." ^ 

Then the Roman folded up his toga, and said, " Here we 

1 Hannibal's attack on Saguntum, a Spanish town allied to Rome, was 
the immediate cause of the war. 

2 Virtually defying the Romans to do their worst. Evidently the Cartha- 
ginian war party was predominant in the Council. 


bring you peace and war. Take whichever you pleage." 
To that they cried out no less grimly, " You can give which- 
ever you choose ! " Whereupon he shook out the toga. 
" I GIVE WAR," he spoke ; and they all cried back, " We take 
it, and will wage it just as fiercely as we have received it." 

24. Hannibal's Ceobsing of the Alps 

Livy, " History," book XXI, chaps. 32-38 

Hannibal's famous crossing of the Alps was a sufficient prelude 
to his momentous struggle in Italy. He was unable to take the 
road along the coast lest he fall in with the Roman army under 
PubliuB Scipio [father of the famous Scipio Africanus] when, in 
case of a defeat, his whole campaign would have been blasted ere 
it had fairly begun. It is usually considered that the pass by 
which Hannibal reached Italy is that now known as the " Little 
St. Bernard." The greatness of Hannibal's feat is enhanced by 
the fact that his army was not made up of patriots, sacrific- 
ing their all to avenge their country. His troops were mostly mer- 
cenaries of every kind — Numidians, Spaniards, Gauls — held 
together almost entirely by the spell of his genius. 

From Druentia [in Gaul], by a road which ran mostly 
across the plains, Hannibal reached the Alps without 
molestation from the inhabitants of the region. Now at 
length, despite the very highly colored reports which had 
come to them, the height of the mountains from near view, 
with the snow almost mingling with the sky, the shapeless 
huts clinging to the clifiEs; the cattle and sumpter beasts 
all withered by the cold, with everything, living or inani- 
mate, stiffened with frost, and so many other like terrors; 
all these, in short, smote the soldiers with alarm. 

As 'they marched up the first slopes, overhead on the 
heights they beheld the mountaineers [ready for sudden 
attack.] Hannibal ordered a halt and sent forward some 
Gauls to view the ground. And when he found no passage 


ia the direction lie had been following, he pitched camp in 
the wildest possible valley, in country infinitely rugged. 
At length he learned from the Gauls, who had mingled with 
the mountaineers, and from whom indeed they differed lit- 
tle in language and habits, that the pass was only beset 
during the day, for at nightfall the defenders withdrew, 
each man to his own dwelling. He accordingly made a 
feigned attempt during the daytime in another direction, 
[but in the night] he put himself at the head of a body of 
picked light troops, and rapidly cleared the pass ; taking his 
post on the very heights once held by the enemy. 

Fighting the Mountaineers 

At dawn the troops broke camp, and the rest of the army 
moved forward. On a signal, the mountaineers swarmed 
from their forts to their wonted stations, but they suddenly 
beheld a part of their enemies clear above them, holding 
their old positions, while the rest of the army was passing 
up the road. For a little while they stood bewildered at all 
they saw ; but when speedily they perceived how the troops 
were confused while going up the pass, and that the march- 
ing forces were disordered by the very tumult they were 
making, — for the horses were especially terrified, — then the 
mountaineers thought they could create enough additional 
terror quite to annihilate the army. They therefore 
scrambled along the dangerous rocks, accustomed as they 
were to all this rough going ; and now were the Carthaginians 
indeed beset, opposed at once by the foe, and by the sheer 
difficulties of the ground. Each man of them strove to es- 
cape the first, and there was actually more struggling among 
themselves than against the enemy. Especially the horses 
made danger in the lines, driven frantic as they were by the 
discordant clamors which were echoed back from the forests 
and valleys. They fell into dire confusion; and if any were 


hit or wounded, they were so uncontrollable that they caused 
great loss both to men and baggage of every kind. As the 
pass was broken and steep on both sides, many were flung 
down to an awful depth, including some even of the soldiery ; 
while the surapter beasts, with their loads, rolled down like 
the fall of some vast fabric. 

Distressing as was the sight of these losses, Hannibal for 
a while kept his place, lest he increase the danger, but later 
when he saw his line broken [he hastened down with his 
detatchment] from the higher ground [which they held]. 
At the first onset he routed the enemy ; and after the paths 
had been cleared of the mountaineers, the tumult [along 
the lines] soon ceased. He then took a fortified village, the 
chief town of the district, and fed his army for three days 
with the captured corn and cattle. 

Hannibal then came to another canton, very populous for 
a mountainous country. Here he was almost overcome, not 
in open war, but in his own game of treachery and ambush. 
Some old men, commanders of the forts, came to the Cartha- 
ginians as envoys, and offered provisions, guides, and hos- 
tages. He answered them in a friendly manner, [fearing 
alike to reject or wholly trust them, and continued his advance 
most warily]. The elephants and cavalry formed the van 
of the advancing host, and he in person, watching everything 
that befell, followed with the picked infantry. When they 
came to a narrow pass, the barbarians rose at once on all 
sides from their ambush and assailed the Carthaginians, 
front and rear both at close quarters and at long range, while 
huge stones were rolled down upon the army. The greater 
number of the foe attacked the rear [where they were beaten 
off with great difficulty, and even as it was] one night was 
spent by Hannibal while separated from his cavalry and his 


At the Summit of the Alps 

[The next day the advance continued amid great loss, 
especially of the sumpter beasts.] Though the elephants 
were driven only with many delays over the steep and nar- 
row paths, yet wherever they went they protected the army, 
because the enemy, to whom they were utterly strange, 
feared approaching them too closely. On the ninth day 
they came to the summit of the Alps over regions trackless. 
For two days they remained encamped on the summit, and 
rest was given the soldiers, spent as they were by toil and 
battle. A fall of snow, however, put the men in great 
panic, worn out as they were by so many hardships.^ 

[When the troops resumed the advance they went forward 
very wearily, until Hannibal ordered a halt] on a certain 
eminence whence there was a view reaching far and wide. 
Here he pointed out to them Italy, and the plains of the 
Po, extending themselves beneath the Alpine mountains. 
"Now," spoke lie, "you are not merely surmounting the 
ramparts of Italy, but those of Eome. The rest of the 
journey will be smooth and downward. After one, or at 
most the second battle, you will have the citadel and capital 
of Italy in your power and possession ! " 

The army now began its advance, the enemy making no 
attempts against them except petty thefts, as chance offered. 
But the journey downward proved much more difficult than 
the ascent, as the slope of the Alps is shorter on the Italian 
side, and, as a consequence, steeper. 

Tlie Struggle through the Snow 

At length they came to a rock so narrow and perpendicular 
that a light-armed soldier attempting it most carefully and 
clinging to the bushes and roots around could barely lower 

1 Remember, a large part of Hannibal's army was made up of Africans, 
to whom snow was a fearful wonder. 


himself down. The ground, naturally very steep, had been 
broken by a recent avalanche into a precipice of nearly a 
thousand feet. Here the cavalry halted as at the end of 
their journey, and it was announced to Hannibal [in the 
rear] that the rock was impassable. He surveyed it per- 
sonally, and imagined he must lead the army around it no 
matter how great the circuit, through regions pathless and 
untrodden. But this route proved impracticable [for it was 
entirely out of the question to force the army through the 
soft and yielding snowdrifts.] 

At length after men and beasts had been uselessly 
fatigued, the camp was pitched on the summit; the ground 
being cleared for that purpose with great difficulty, so much 
snow was there to dig and to carry away. The soldiers 
were then set to work to make a way down the cliff, by 
which alone a passage could be won. It was needful to 
cut through the rocks themselves, and the men lopped down 
many large trees which grew around, and made a huge pile 
of timber. As soon as a strong wind came to stir the fire, 
they kindled the mass, and pouring vinegar upon the heated 
stones [beneath] rendered them soft and crumbling. They 
then could use their iron instruments upon the rock thus 
heated, and smoothed its slopes so that not merely the 
sumpter beasts but even the elephants could be led across 
and downward. 

Four days had the army spent on this rock, the animals 
nearly perishing with hunger, for the mountain summits 
were mostly bare, and any pasturage was under the snows ; 
but the lower parts [which they now reached] contained 
valleys and some sunny hills, with streams flowing through 
woods — scenes in short worthy for human abode. There 
the sumpter beasts were set out at pasture, and the men, so 
wearied with the passage, were given three days of rest; 
then they descended to the plains, where the country and 
the people were alike less rugged. 


In this manner they came to Italy in the fifth month 
after leaving New Carthage [in Spain], having crossed the 
Alps in fifteen days. 

25. How THE Romans greeted Vareo on his Eeturn 


Livy, "History," book XXII, chap. 61 

In 216 B.C., largely owing to the blunders of the Consul Varro, 
the Roman army was practically annihilated by Hannibal at 
Oanuse ; yet because after the defeat Varro had done everything 
possible to cheek the spread of disaster, and had clearly striven ac- 
cording to his best ability, the Roman government and people 
refused to rebuke him. The treatment accorded him was a moral 
victory that did far to offset many Cannses. 

How much greater this disaster [at Cannae] was than any 
before it, is proved by the fact that certain allies [of Rome] 
that had hitherto stood firm now began to waver, and the 
only cause of this was that they despaired of the [Romans'] 
empire. The peoples who went over to the Carthaginians 
were these — the Atellani, the Calatini, the Hirpini, some 
of the Apulians, the Samnites (except the Penetrians), all 
the Bruttians and the Lucanians. Besides these there were 
included the Surrentinians and almost the whole coast pos- 
sessed by the Greeks, the peoples of Tarentum, Metapon- 
tum, Croton, the Locrians and all of Cisalpine Gaul. 

Yet not even these losses and the falling away of their 
allies so shook the Romans that any word touching " Peace " 
was uttered amongst them ; either before the arrival of 
[Varro] th§ consul at Rome, or after he came and renewed 
the memory of the great calamity. At this very juncture, 
such was the height of public spirit, that when the consul 
returned from such a fearful defeat, whereof he personally 
was the main cause, he was met [before Rome] by multi- 
tudes of all classes of citizens, and thanks were given him 


" Because he had not despaired of the Republic." Although 
had he been a Carthaginian general in like case, he would 
have escaped no species of punishment.^ 

26. "Hannibal at the Gates" 

Livy, " History," book XXVI, chaps. 7, 9, 10, 11 

Hannihars attempt to save Capua [211 B.C. J by a sudden 
march on Rome, was a stirring passage in the Second Punic War, 
In reality the danger to Rome was not great : Hannibal had no 
time or men to waste on storming the gallantly defended capital : 
but the event gave an admirable opportunity for Senate, people, 
and army to exhibit their self-possession, and dogged purpose. 

Hannibal, at length, when he saw that the Romans could 
not be induced to join battle again, and that he was unable 
to force his way through their lines into Capua, resolved to 
remove his own camp thence, and give up the attempt, lest 
the new consuls be able to cut off his provision supplies. 
Whilst he deliberated anxiously what to do next, the im- 
pulse came to him to attack Rome itself, the very heart of 
the war. He believed there was some hope that he might 
seize some part of the city, as result of the panic and con- 
fusion attending his unexpected approach; also that if 
Rome were imperiled either both, or at least one, of the 
Roman generals, would retire from before Capua. [And 
if they divided their forces, he would surely gain some 

He feared, however, lest his departure cause the Cam- 

panians [in Capua] to surrender immediately [in despair.] 

He bribed, therefore, a Numidian — a most daring fellow — 

to convey a letter. The man entered the EomaA camp as a 

deserter, then slipped across and got into Capua. The letter 

was full of encouragement. "Hannibal's departure," it 

1 An entirely just observation. A defeated Athenian general would 
probably have been condemned to drink poisonous hemlock, a Cartha- 
ginian to be trodden to death by an elephant. 


ran, " would be highly beneficial [to the besieged.] It 
would result in drawing off the Koman armies to the de- 
fense of Rome itself. They must not let their spirits sink. 
After a few days more of patience the siege would be quite 
over." He then ordered the boats on the Volturnus River 
to be seized, and rowed up to the fort formerly erected 
there for his protection. [Next laying in rations for ten 
days he led his forces to the river by night, and crossed 
before daylight.] 

[When deserters brought news of this rfiovement to the 
Roman Senate, it was resolved most heroically not to with- 
draw the whole blockading army from Capua, but only a 
fraction of the army to cover Rome. The rest was to main- 
tain the siege.] 

[Hannibal marched northward, devastating the country, 
along the Latin Way, as far as the Liris, where he found 
the bridges broken to hinder his advance ; but at the same 
time Fulvius, the proconsul, with a part of the army from 
Capua was marching another road, parallel with Hannibal, 
going at full speed to defend the city. As messengers came 
in with tidings of Hannibal's advance] the whole city was 
in a state of alarm. The confusion was increased by the 
constant running to and fro of people bearing wild rumors. 
Not merely in the houses were the lamentations of the 
women to be heard, but matrons ran ^ut upon the streets 
from every direction and surged up and down around the 
shrines of the gods, imploring them to " Save the city of 
Rome from the clutches of the foe, and to keep the Roman 
mothers and children from all harm ! " The Senate sat at 
the Forum near the magistrates in case the latter should 
wish to consult with it. Some Senators [who held office] 
were receiving orders and departing to their own spheres of 
duty ; others were offering themselves in whatever capacity 
they might be of aid, while troops were stationed [at various 
points in and around the city.] 


During this confusion the news came. Fulvius, the pro- 
consul, and his army had started from Capua, whereupon 
the Senate ordered that his power should be the same as 
that of the Consuls, lest when he entered the city his author- 
ity should cease.^ Hannibal [ravaging direfnlly, pressed 
on towards Eome until, marching his] troops into the confines 
of the Pupinian tribe, he pitched his camp eight miles from 
the city. The nearer the enemy came, the greater was the 
number of the fugitives slain by the Numidians of his van, 
and the greater the number of prisoners they made, of 
every sort and condition. 

Amid the confusion, Eulvius entered the city with his 
troops [by another way] and camped between the Esquiline 
and Colline gates. The Plebeian sediles brought hither a 
supply of provisions. The consuls and Senate came to the 
camp and a council of war was held on the general state of 
the Commonwealth. It was resolved the consuls should 
camp near these gates, that Calpurnius, the city praetor, 
should command at the Capitol, and that a full Senate should 
be in continuous session at the Forum, in case of any sud- 
den need for consulting it. Meantime Hannibal advanced 
his camp to the Anio, three miles from the city, and when he 
had established himself, he rode with two thousand horse 
along from the Colline Gate as far as the temple of Her- 
cules ; and, galloping up, took as near a view as he could of 
the walls and the site of the city. Fulvius, however, was 
furious that he should do this so much at his ease, and sent 
out a cavalry force with orders [to chase his escort back. 
Meantime in Kome there was grievous panic, while the 
rumor spread that the Aventine Hill had been taken.] 

The cavalry battle, however, was in favor of the Romans, 
and the enemy was driven [away to their camp.] Tumults, 
however, were breaking out in different parts of the city, 

lA proconsul's power ordinarily ceased when he' entered the city of 
Borne ; but the regular consuls retained their power inside the city limits. 


and it was resolved that all ex-dictators, ex-consuls, and ex- 
censors should exercise magisterial authority until the foe 
were driven from before the walls. For the rest of the day 
and the night following tumults kept arising, unfounded 
though they were, and had to be repressed. 

The next day Hannibal crossed the Anio and drew up, 
offering battle. Flaccus and the consuls did not decline the 
issue, but when the troops on both sides were arrayed to 
join in a battle with Rome for the prize of the victors, a 
violent rainstorm, with hail to boot, threw the lines in dis- 
order, so that the [demoralized] troops must needs retire to 
their camp.^ [A second tempest prevented battle the next 
day.] The Carthaginians considered this occurrence as " an 
act of the gods," and it is reported Hannibal remarked " At 
one time he wanted the resolution to take Rome, but at 
another time the opportunity." ^ 

Two other things also brought down his hopes. The more 
important one was that even while he lay with his forces 
near the city wall, he was informed that troops had marched 
from Rome with colors flying, as a reenforcement to go to 
Spain.' The lesser matter was that a prisoner told him that 
the actual ground whereon his camp stood was sold [in 
Rome] at that very time, and at no lessened price. [Stirred 
by this contempt and insult] Hannibal immediately called 
a crier, and ordered that the silversmiths' [and bankers'] 
shops which then stood around the Roman Forum should be 
put up for auction. 

Thus baffled, he retired six miles from the city to the 
grove of Feronia, where was a temple famed for its riches. 

1 A lost battle then and there would not necessarily have ruined Rome. 
Hannibal would still have been forced to storm the city, desperately 
defended as it would surely have been. 

2 Referring to his failure to make the most of his alleged opportunity 
to seize Rome after the battle of Cannse. 

' A marvelous testimony to the confidence of the Romans in their ulti- 
mate victory. 


[Having plundered this temple, Hannibal retreated sullenly 
into Campania. His eifort to save Capua had failed, and 
that great city was presently starved out and forced to sur- 
render oa very severe terms.] 

27. Marcellus and Akchimedes at Sybacxjsb 

Plutarch, " Life of Marcellus," chaps. XIV-XIX 

Marcellus was, on the whole, the most successful opponent of Han- 
nibal, untU the rise of Scipio Afrieanus ; but his chief public serv- 
ice was the reduction of Syracuse [212 B.C.], which upon the 
death of King Hiero II had forsaken the Roman, alliance for 
Carthage. What Nicias and Demosthenes had failed to do the 
grim and unrelenting Roman accomplished, and Syracuse sank to 
the level of a mere provincial subject town. How Archimedes, the 
famous mathematician-physicist, enabled the Syracusans to prolong 
the siege by his inventions, and the manner of his death during 
the capture, form together a time-honored story. 

Marcellus proceeded to attack the city both by land and 
by sea. The land forces were conducted by Appius : Mar- 
cellus, with sixty galleys, each with five rows of oars, 
furnished with all sorts of arms and missiles, and a huge 
bridge of planks laid upon eight ships chained together, 
upon which was carried the engine to cast stones and darts, 
assaulted the walls, relying upon the abundance and magnifi- 
cence of his preparations, and on his own previous glory ; 
all which, however, were, it would seem, but trifles for 
Archimedes and his machines. 

These machines he had designed and contrived, not as 
matters of any importance, but as mere amusements in 
geometry ; in compliance with King Hiero's desire and re- 
quest, some little time before, that he should reduce to 
practice some part of his admirable speculations in science 
and, by accommodating the theoretic truth to sensation and 
ordinary use, bring it more within the appreciation of people 
in general. 


Archimedes, in writing to King Hiero, whose friend and 
near relation he was, had stated, that, given the force, any- 
given weight might be moved, and even boasted, we are 
told, relying on the strength of demonstration, that if there 
were another earth, by going into it he could remove this. 
Hiero being struck with amazement at this, and entreating 
him to make good this problem by actual experiment, and 
show some great weight moved by a small engine, he 
fixed accordingly upon a ship of burden out of the king's 
arsenal, which could not be drawn out of the dock without 
great labor and many men; and, loading her with many 
passengers and a full freight, sitting himself the while far 
off, with no great endeavor, but only holding the head of 
the pulley in his hand and drawing the cord by degrees, he 
drew the ship in a straight line, as smoothly and evenly as 
if she had been in the sea. The king, astonished at this, 
and convinced of the power of the art, prevailed upon 
Archimedes to make him engines accommodated to all the 
purposes, offensive and defensive, of a siege. These the 
king himself never made use of, because he spent almost all 
his life in a profound quiet, and the highest affluence. But 
the apparatus was, in a most opportune time, ready at hand 
for the Syracusans, and with it also the engineer himself. 

How Archimedes made Engines to resist Marcellus 

When, therefore, the Romans assaulted the walls in two 
places at once, fear and consternation stupefied the Syra- 
cusans, believing that nothing was able to resist that 
violence and those forces. But when Archimedes began to 
ply his engines, he at once shot against the land forces all 
sorts of missile weapons, and immense masses of stone that 
came down with incredible noise and violence, against which 
no man could stand ; for they knocked down those upon 
whom they fell, in heaps, breaking all their ranks and files. 


In the meantime huge poles thrust out from the walls over 
the ships sunk some by the great weights which they let 
down from on high upon them ; others they lifted up into 
the air by an iron hand or beak like a crane's beak, and, 
when they had drawn them up by the prow, and set them 
on end upon the poop, they plunged them to the bottom of 
the sea; or else the ships, drawn by engines within, and 
whirled about, were dashed against steep rocks that stood 
jutting out under the walls, with great destruction of 
the soldiers that were aboard them. 

A ship was frequently lifted up to a great height in the 
air (a dreadful thing to behold), and was rolled to and fro, 
and kept swinging until the mariners were all thrown out, 
when at length it was dashed against the rocks or let fall. 
At the engine that Marcellus brought upon the bridge of 
ships, which was called Sambuca from some resemblance it 
had to an instrument of music, while it was as yet approach- 
ing the wall, there was discharged a piece of rock of ten 
talents' weight, then a second and a third, which, striking 
upon it with immense force and with a noise like thunder, 
broke all its foundation pieces, shook out all its fastenings, 
and completely dislodged it from the bridge. So Marcellus, 
doubtful what counsel to pursue, drew off his ships to a 
safer distance, and sounded a retreat to his forces on land. 

The Scientific Spirit of Archimedes 

[By these means Marcellus was compelled to reduce his 
attack to a mere blockade.J Yet Archimedes possessed so 
high a spirit, so profound a soul, and such treasures of 
scientific knowledge, that though these inventions had now 
obtained him the renown of more than human sagacity, he 
yet would not deign to leave behind him any commentary 
or writing on such subjects ; but, repudiating as sordid and 
ignoble the whole trade of engineering, and every sort of 


art that lends itself to mere use and profit, he placed his 
whole affection and ambition in those purer speculations 
where there can be no reference to the vulgar needs of 

The charm of his familiar and domestic Siren made him 
forget his food and neglect his person, to that degree that 
when he was occasionally carried by absolute violence, to 
bathe, or have his body anointed, he used to trace geomet- 
rical figures in the ashes of the fire, and diagrams in the oil 
on his body, being in a state of entire preoccupation, and, 
in the truest sense, divine possession with his love and 
delight in science. 

Taking of Syracuse and Fate of Archimedes 

[At length after a tedious siege Marcellus was able to gain 
possession of Syracuse, while the inhabitants were celebrat- 
ing a feast of Artemis and were off their guard.] 

When looking down from the higher places upon the 
beautiful and spacious city below, he is said to have wept 
much, commiserating the calamity that hung over it, when 
his thoughts represented to him, how dismal and foul the 
face of the city would in a few hours be, when plundered 
and sacked by the soldiers. For among the officers of the 
army there was not one man that durst deny the plunder of 
the city to the soldiers' demands ; nay, many were insistent 
that it should be set on fire and laid level to the ground : 
but this Marcellus would not listen to. Yet he granted, 
but with great unwillingness and reluctance, that the money 
and slaves should be made spoil ; giving orders, at the same 
time, that none should violate any free person, nor kill, 
misuse, or make a slave of any of the Syracusans. 

Though he had used this moderation, he still esteemed 
the condition of that city to be pitiable, and, even amidst 
the congratulations and joy, showed his strong feelings of 


sympathy and commiseration at seeing all the riches ac- 
cumulated during a long felicity, now dissipated in an hour. 
For it is related, that no less spoil and plunder was taken 
here, than afterward in Carthage. For not long after, they 
obtained also the plunder of the other parts of the city, 
which were taken by treachery ; leaving nothing untouched 
but the king's money, which was brought into the public 

Nothing, however, afiiicted Marcellus so much as the death 
of Archimedes ; who was then, as fate would have it, intent 
upon working out some problem by a diagram, and having 
fixed his mind alike and his eyes upon the subject of his 
speculation, he never noticed the incursion of the Romans, 
nor that the city was taken. ' In this transport of study and 
contemplation, a soldier, unexpectedly coming up to him, 
commanded him to follow to Marcellus ; which he declining 
to do before he had worked out his problem to a demonstra- 
tion, the soldier, enraged, drew his sword and ran him 
through. Others write, that a Roman soldier, running upon 
him with a drawn sword, offered to kill him ; and that 
Archimedes, looking back, earnestly besought him to hold 
his hand a little while, that he might not leave what he 
was then at work upon inconclusive and imperfect ; but the 
soldier, nothing moved by his entreaty, instantly killed him. 
Others again relate, that as Archimedes was carrying to 
Marcellus mathematical instruments, dials, spheres, and 
angles, by which the magnitude of the sun might be 
measured to the sight, some soldiers seeing him, and 
thinking that he carried gold in a vessel, slew him. Cer- 
tain it is that his death was very afflicting to Marcellus ; 
and that Marcellus ever after regarded the man that 
killed him as a murderer ; and that he sought Archimedes's 
kindred and honored them with signal favors. 


28. The Battle op Zama 
Livy, "History," book XXX, chaps. 32-35 

The battle of Zama (202 B.C.) ended the Second Punic War. 
It was fought after a vain attempt of the respective generals — 
Scipio and Hannibal — to arrange terms of peace at a personal 
interview. In the contest the Romans showed how much they 
had profited in the hard school of experience, by their former 
battles with Hannibal. The great Carthaginian did his best, but 
he had a very heterogeneous army. Scipio, on the other hand, 
had a homogeneous, patriotic, weU-disciplined force, and he handled 
it without a blunder. 

When the two generals arrived back at their respective 
camps they both issued orders to their men to " make ready 
their arms, and prepare for the final battle; which, if they 
should win, would give them victory not for a day, but 
through all time.'' For the Romans on their part had no 
place of refuge in the strange and foreign land [of Africa] : 
and sheer destruction confronted Carthage if the troops who 
were her last hope were overcome. 

[The generals on either side harangued their men, and 
urged them to strive to the uttermost : and then Scipio 
arrayed his lines, posting his " hastati " ^ in front, his "prin- 
cipes " behind them, and closing his rear line with the 
"triarii." He did not draw up his divisions in close order, 
instead he set each before its separate standard, and placed 
the companies at some little distance apart to leave a space 
through which the enemy's elephants might rush without 
breaking the Roman ranks. Laelius [his favorite lieutenant] 
he put with the Italian cavalry on the left wing, Masinissa^ 
and the Numidians were on the right. The open spaces 
between the [regular] companies of the van, he filled with 

1 These were the least seasoned troops in the legion; the " principes " 
were of better quality; the " triarii" were tested veterans. 

2 A claimant for the throne of Numidia, who had joined the Romans. 
He was a dashing and effective cavalry leader. 


"velites" [Roman light-armed troops] with orders that 
when the elephants charged they were to retire behind the 
tiles, and leave a passage. 

As for Hannibal, in order to terrify his foes, he set his 
elephants in front, for he had eighty of the beasts, more 
than in any of his former battles. Behind these lay his 
Ligurian and Gallic auxiliaries, and some Balearians and 
Moors, all intermixed. In the second line he set the Car- 
thaginians, Africans, and a brigade of Macedonians ; finally 
at a moderate interval he stationed a reserve of Italians, 
mainly from Bruttium.' As for his cavalry, he posted that 
upon the wings, the Carthaginians upon the right, the 
Numidians upon the left. 

[Hannibal at the same time used every kind of argument to 
arouse enthusiasm and some kind of patriotism in this veiy diversely 
recruited army, especially appeaUng to the Carthaginians as having 
the most at stake.] 

How the Battle Began 

While Hannibal was thus employed, and his captains like- 
wise — most of them having to use interpreters among troops 
intermixed from such different nations — the trumpets and 
horns of the Romans sounded. Such a din did they make 
that the elephants, especially those by the left wing, turned 
around on their own party : [and practically drove Hannibal's 
cavalry on that side from the field.] A few of the elephants 
indeed were launched against the Romans, and made sore 
havoc among the " velites," though not M'ithout many wounds 
themselves. For the velites, giving ground [as ordered], 
pelted them with darts, until at last they were driven from 
the Roman lines by the showers of missiles from every side ; 
and these elephants even put to flight the Carthaginian cav- 

1 This reserve comprised the remnant of his old army of veterans who 
had mostly left their bones in Italy fighting his battles, and now the sur. 
vivors had followed him to Africa to die in the last struggle. 


airy on the right wing also, whereupon Laelius, seeing the 
disorder of the foe, dashed new terror into them whilst in 
their confusion. 

Stripped thus of their cavalry on either side, the Cartha- 
ginian foot now locked with the Romans, but they were no 
match either in confidence or prowess. Again, one circum- 
stance, in itself a trifle, had no scant results. With the 
Eomans the war cry was uniform, and therefore louder and 
more terrific ; but with the enemy, composed as they were 
of so many peoples of varying tongues, the cry was disso- 
nant.' The Romans used the stationary kind of fighting, 
pressing upon the enemy with their own weight and that 
of their arms ; but on the other side there was more of 
skirmishing and rapid movement than real force. There- 
fore the Romans, at the first charge, drove back the hostile 
line ; then pushing with their elbows and the bosses of their 
shields, and thrusting forward into the spaces whence they 
had pushed the foe, they advanced quite a space, as though 
no one were resisting them; while the men in the rear 
urged oh their comrades in front as they felt the hostile 
line yielding. 

The Final Defeat of the Carthaginians 

[The front ranks of the Carthaginians were thus forced 
back upon Hannibal's veteran Italians, who angrily drove 
them from the field as useless, and who themselves prepared 
to face the Romans ; while, however, they were reforming 
for the final shock] Scipio promptly signaled to his spear- 
men to retreat, and had the wounded taken to the rear. 
Then he brought up his " principes " and " triarii " from the 
wings in order to strengthen the spearmen of the center. 

1 It is certain that mere noUe had a great part in ancient battles, espe- 
cially with its moral effects upon untried soldiers. The Greeks and Romans 
lacked modem cannon, but the din of one of their battles was doubtless 


Thus a fresh battle commenced, inasmuch as now the 
Romans had reached their genuine antagonists, men a match 
for them in their weapons, in their experience in war, and 
in their overwhelming hopes and fears. But both in num- 
bers and in courage the Eomans had advantage.* They had 
routed cavalry, elephants, and front line, and were now clos- 
ing with the second line [and the last.] 

Lselius and Masinissa, who had pursued the routed cavalry, 
now most opportunely returned, and charged the enemy's 
rear. Before this cavalry attack the Carthaginians at last 
succumbed. Many were surrounded and perished on the 
field; many, fleeing over the open plain, were slain by the 
[pursuing] cavalry. Of the Carthaginians and their allies 
about 20,000 that day perished, and about as many more 
were captured, as well as one hundred and thirty-three 
standards and eleven elephants. 

Hannibal escaped with a few horsemen, not fleeing the 
field until he had tried every expedient both in the battle 
and before it began.- [After having done everything pos- 
sible for his country] he returned to Carthage in the six- 
and-thirtieth year after he had quitted it when a boy. 
There, in the Council House, he confessed he had lost not 
only the battle, but the war, and that the only hope of salva- 
tion was to make peace. 

29. Why Rome was supeeioe to Cakthage 
Polybius, " History," book VI, chap. 51. Shuckburgli's Translation 

The reasons why Rome was able in the end to master Carthage 
— despite the apparent great strength of the latter — are clearly 
itated by a Greek historian who had ample opportunity for col- 
lecting and judging all the facts. 

1 Probably a good many in this veteran reserve, the " Old Guard " of 
Hannibal, had joined in the slaughter of the Romans at Traaemene and 
CunnSB. Now finally their fates were reversed, buttheir last stand, when 
they were hopelessly outnumbered, did not belie their old glory. 


As there is in every body politic a natural growth, then 
a zenith, then decay, and whereas everything in them is 
at its hest when at the zenith, we may then judge of the 
difference between these two constitutions [Eoman and 
Carthaginian] as they existed then [on the eve of the 
Second Punic War.] For exactly so far as the strength 
and prosperity of Carthage began earlier than that of Rome, 
by exactly so much was Carthage past its prime, while 
Rome was just at its zenith, so far as its political constitu- 
tion was concerned. In Carthage, therefore, the influence 
of the Popular Assembly had risen already to be supreme, 
while at Rome the Senate was at the height of its power ; 
and so, as in the one measures were deliberated upon by 
the multitude, and in the other by the best men, conse- 
quently the Romans in all public imdertakings proved 
the stronger ; on which account, though they met with 
capital disasters, by force of prudent councils they pres- 
ently conquered the Carthaginians. 

If we look, however, at separate details, e.g. at the pro- 
visions for carrying on a war, we shall find that whereas 
for a naval expedition the Carthaginians are the better 
trained and prepared — as is only natural with a- people 
with whom it has been hereditary for many generations 
to practice this craft, and follow the seamen's trade above 
all nations in the world — yet, touching military service 
on land, the Romans train themselves to a much higher 
pitch than the Carthaginians. The former bestow their 
whole attention upon this department ; whereas the Cartha- 
ginians, although they do take some slight interest in their 
cavalry, wholly neglect their infantry, the reason for this 
being that they employ foreign mercenaries, the Romans 
native and citizen levies. 

It is in this point that the Roman polity is preferable to the 
Carthaginian. They have their hopes of freedom ever resting 
on the courage of mere mercenaries ; the Romans on the valor 


of their own citizens and the aid of their allies. The result 
is that even if the Romans are beaten at first, they renew the 
war with undiminished forces, which the Carthaginians can- 
not do. For as the Eomans are fighting for native land and 
children, it is impossible for them to relax the fury of their 
struggle ; but they persist with obstinate resolution imtil 
they have triumphed over their enemies. What happened 
in regard to their navy is an instance in point. In [nautical] 
skill the Romans are much behind the Carthaginians, as I have 
said, yet the upshot of the whole naval war was a decided 
triumph for Rome, through the [personal] valor of her 
men. For although nautical science contributes largely to 
success in sea fights, still it is the courage of the marines 
that turns the scale most decisively in favor of victory. The 
fact is that Italians, as a nation, are by nature superior to 
PhcBtiicians and Libyans both in physical strength and 
courage. Likewise their habits also do much to inspire 
their youth with enthusiasm for such exploits. 

30. How Cato the Elder inveighed again-st Carthage 

Plutarch, " life of Marcus Cato the Elder," chaps. XXVI-XXVn 

Marcus Cato the Elder was the very incarnation of the old 
" Republican traditions " of Rome. He was bom in 234 B.C., 
shortly after the end of the First Punic War, and he distinguished 
himself in the Second Punic War. Considering the havoc Hannibal 
had wrought in Italy, and the fierce hatreds and passions he had 
engendered, it is in no wise surprising that to Cato any peace with 
Carthage seemed only a truce ; at any moment a new Hannibal 
might arise and all the bloody drama be played over again. Be- 
sides this factor, also, Cato as a shrewd man of business shared, 
no doubt, the jealousy with which the merchants and bankers of 
Rome watched the commercial prosperity of their rival. 

Some will have the overthrow of Carthage to have been 
one of Cato's last acts of state ; when, indeed, Scipio the 


younger, did by his valor give it tlie last blow, but the war, 
chiefly by the council and advice of Cato, was undertaken 
on the following occasion. Cato was sent to the Cartha- 
ginians and Masinissa, king of Numidia, who were at war 
with one another, to know the cause of their difference. He, 
it seems, had been a friend of the Romans from the begin- 
ning ; and they, too, since they were conquered by Scipio, 
were of the Roman confederacy, having been shorn of their 
power by loss of territory, and a heavy tax. Finding Car- 
thage, not (as the Romans thought) low and in an ill condition, 
but well manned, full of riches and all sorts of arms and 
ammunition, and perceiving the Carthaginians carry it high, 
he conceived that it was not a time for the Romans to adjust 
affairs between them and Masinissa ; but rather that they 
themselves would fall into danger, unless they should find 
means to check this rapid new growth of Rome's ancient 
irreconcilable enemy. 

Therefore, returning quickly to Rome, he acquainted the 
Senate, that the former defeats and blows given to the Cartha- 
ginians, had not so much diminished their strength, as it had 
abated their imprudence and folly ; that they were not be- 
come weaker, but more experienced in war, and did only 
skirmish with the Numidians, to exercise themselves the 
better to cope with the Romans : that the peace and league 
they had made was but a kind of suspension of war which 
awaited a fairer opportunity to break out again. 

Moreover, they say that, shaking his gown, he took occa- 
sion to let drop some African figs before the Senate. And 
on their admiring the size and beauty of them, he presently 
added, that "the place that bore them was but three days' 
sail from Rome. Nay, he never after this gave his opinion, 
but at the end he would be sure to come out with this sen- 
tence, " Also, Carthage, mbthinks, ought utterly to be 
DESTKOYED." But Publius Scipio Nasica would always 
declare his opinion to the contrary, in these words, " It 


seems requisite to me that Carthage should still stand." 
For seeing his countrymen to be grown wanton and insolent, 
and the people made, by their prosperity, obstinate and diso- 
bedient to the Senate, and drawing the whole city, whither 
they would, after them, he would have had the fear of 
Carthage to serve as a bit to hold in the contumacy of the 
multitude; and he looked upon the Carthaginians as too 
weak to overcome the Eomans, and too great to be despised 
by them. 

On the other side, it seemed a perilous thing to Cato, that 
a city which had been always great, and was now grown 
sober and wise, by reason of its former calamities, should 
still lie, as it were, in wait for the follies and dangerous 
excesses of the overpowerful Roman people ; so that he 
thought it the wisest course to have all outwapd dangers re- 
moved, when they had so many inward ones among them- 

Thus Cato, they say, stirred up the third and last war 
against the Carthaginians : but no sooner was the said war 
begun, than he died [in 149 B.C., three years before Carthage 
was taken]. 


In the very victory over Carthage was the germ of the down- 
fall of the magnificent Republic that had destroyed Hannibal, and 
then, a half century later, his city. Few periods of ancient 
history are more interesting than the story of Rome from the rise 
of the Gracchi to the advent of Julius Osesar, and no other period 
of ancient history is so charged with serious examples and warn- 
ings for thoughtful Americans. How Rome was undone by her 
very successes ; how her upper classes grew ever richer, while her 
lower classes were ground down by plutocratic oppression and slave 
competition ; how one after another reform and counter-reform 
were tried until the weary and war-racked commonwealth was 
glad to merge its public life in a monarchy, — these facts form some 
of the most instructive precedents in human annals. 

In this culminating age of the Republic there is no lack of 
interesting personalities. Our literary evidence is abundant. The 
Gracchi, Marius, Sulla, Lucullus, Crassus, and their associates 
we can study almost intimately. Little as we may find that is 
admirable in the characters of many of these men, almost all 
we discover to be individuals of marvelous energy, usually of 
corresponding ability, and gifted in many cases with an aggressive 
egoism which was perhaps more developed in the Romans of this 
period than in any other race or century. From the ample 
material at our disposal no attempt is made to illustrate all the 
noteworthy events which follow one another in stirring succession 
from the tribunate of Tiberius Gracclius to the rise to prominence 
of Julius Caesar. It has been possible to single out only certain 
typical incidents, also to add a few glimpses into the economic and 
social life of the upper and lower classes during this most interest- 
ing era. 

The student should notice again that although this period is 



marked by grave domestic turmoils, the Roman armies did not 
cease to go forth conquering and to conquer. This is the age 
when Mithridates was overthrown, and the Eastern end of the 
Mediterranean hrought fairly under the Roman yoke. As a result, 
the Italian conquerors were led into vital relations with Oriental 
luxury, morality, and religion — influences which were to affect 
the Western world mightily during the next three centuries. 



Polybius, " History,'' book XXXII, chaps. 9-15. Shuckburgh's Translation 

About 163 B.C. the incident here narrated occurred. A large 
number of prominent Greeks from Achtea had been transported 
as prisoners to Italy, whereof one was Polybius, the future his- 
torian. How he became friends with Scipio j3Emilianus, the 
future destroyer of Carthage, and what a high-minded, generous- 
hearted personage that great nobleman was in his youth, is admir- 
ably told. Incidentally many glimpses are given into society and 
manners at Rome in the second century B.C. 

[When the Achaean exiles, of whom Polybius was one, were dis- 
tributed among the various cities of Italy, Polybius, being already 
on terms of friendship with Fabius and Scipio, the sons of Lucius 
iEmilius Paulus, was assigned for residence at their house, and 
they became stOl more intimate.] 

One day when all three were coming out of the house of 
Pabius, the latter left them to go to the Forjim, and Polyb- 
ius went iu another direction with Scipio. As they were 
walking along, in a quiet, subdued voice and with the blood 
mounting to his cheeks, Scipio said, " Why is it, Polybius, 
that though my brother and I eat at the same table, you 
address all your conversation and all your questions to him 
and pass me over altogether? Of course you have the 
same opinion of rae as I hear the rest of the city has. For 
I am considered by everybody, I hear, to be a mild, effete 
person, and far removed from the true Roman character 


and ways, because I don^t care for pleading in the law 
courts. And they say the family I come of requires a dif- 
ferent kind of a representative, and not the sort that I am. 
It is that which annoys me the most." 

Polybius was taken aback by the opening words of the 
young man, — for he was only just eighteen, — and replied 
that [he spoke mainly to Fabius because he was the elder ; 
but that he would be delighted to help Scipio in any way 
possible to learn to come up to the family reputation]. 

While Polybius was still speaking the young man seized 
his right hand with both of his, and pressing it warmly 
said, " Oh, that I might see the day on which you would 
devote your first attention to me, and join your life with 
mine. From that moment I shall think myself worthy 
both of my family and my ancestors." Polybius was 
partly delighted at the sight of the young man's enthusiasm 
and affection, and partly embarrassed at the thought of the 
high position of his family and the wealth of its members. 
However, from the hour of this mutual confidence the 
young man never left the side of Polybius, but regarded 
his society as his first and dearest object. 

From this time onward they continually gave each other 
practical proof of an affection which recalled the relation- 
ship of father and son, or of kinsmen of the same blood. 
The first impulse and ambition of a noble kind with which 
he was inspired was a desire to maintain a reputation for 
chastity, and to be superior to the standard observed in 
that respect among his contemporaries. [It was a time of 
great dissoluteness in Eome : young men wasted money and 
energies on mistresses, wine, and coarse banquets, for it was 
believed by the Eomans that] owing to the destruction of 
the Macedonian monarchy, universal dominion was secured 
to them beyond dispute. Also a vast difference had been 
made both in public and private wealth and splendor, by 
the importation of the riches of Macedonia/"' into Rome. 


Scipio, however, set his heart on a different path of life ; 
and by a steady resistance to his appetites, and by con- 
forming his whole conduct to a consistent and undeviating 
standard, in about five years after this secured a general 
recognition of his character for goodness and purity. 

His next object was to cultivate lofty sentiments in re- 
gard to money, and to maintain a higher standard of disin- 
terestedness than other people. In this respect he had an 
excellent start in his association with his natural father 
[j^milius] ; but he also had good natural impulses to do 
right, and circumstances helped his success. 

When the mother of his adoptive father, j5]milia, wife 
of Scipio the Great, died, she left him a great property. 
She had been accustomed to attend the women's religious 
processions in great state as sharing the life and high for- 
tune of Scipio. For besides the magnificence of her dress 
and carriage, the basket, cups, and other sacrificial imple- 
ments which were carried in her train were all of silver or 
gold on grand occasions; and the number of her maidserv- 
ants and other slaves that made up her train had been 
proportioned to this splendor. All this establishment, im- 
mediately after .Emilia's funeral, Scipio presented to his 
own mother, who had long before been divorced by his 
father, Lucius, and who was badly off, considering her il- 
lustrious birth. She had previously refrained from taking 
part in grand public processions ; but now, as there chanced 
to be a notable state sacrifice, she appeared surrounded with 
all the splendor and wealth which had once been Emilia's, 
using among other things the same muleteers, pair of mules, 
and carriage. The ladies, therefore, who saw it were much 
impressed by the kindness and liberality of Scipio, and all 
raised their hands to heaven and prayed for blessings upon 

[Scipio was remarkably liberal in the matter of the mar- 
riage portions of his adoptive aunts, the daughters of Scipio 


the Great, paying the fifty talents due three years in ad- 
vance. When the husbands of these ladies applied for part 
of the money at Scipio's bankers, and were told they could 
have the whole on the spot, they at first thought there was . 
some mistake] for at Rome so far from paying fifty talents 
[$50,000] three years in advance, no one will pay a talent 
before the appointed day ; ^ so excessively particular are they 
about money, and so profitable do they consider time. . . . 

Also Scipio by his strict chastity not merely saved his 
purse, but by refraining from many irregular pleasures he 
gained sound bodily health and a vigorous constitution for 
the whole of his life. 

Courage, however, is an important element for public life 
in every country, but particularly in Rome ; and he therefore 
was bound to give all his most serious attention to it. In 
this he was well seconded by Fortune, also. For as the 
'Macedonian kings were especially keen after hunting, and 
[had great game preserves,] which were untouched during 
four years, owing to the public disturbances, the conse- 
quence was that they were full of every kind of animal. 
But when the [Macedonian] war was decided, Lucius JSmil- 
ius, thinking that .hunting was the best training for body 
and courage his young soldiers could have, put the royal 
huntsmen under the charge of Scipio. 

[As a result he became a highly proficient sportsman], 
and when he returned to Rome, instead, like the other 
young men, of hanging around the law courts, and paying 
calls, or haunting the Forum and trying to win popular 
favor, Scipio devoted his time to hunting, and by con- 
tinually displaying brilliant and memorable acts of prowess 
won a greater reputation than others, whose only chance of 
gaining credit was by inflicting some damage on one of their 
fellow citizens, for that was the usual result of their law 
proceedings. Scipio, on the other hand, without inflicting 

i A comment on the eminently " practical " spirit o£ the Romans. 


annoyance on any one gained a popular reputation for manly 
courage, rivaling eloquence by action. The result was that 
in a short time he obtained a more decided superiority of 
position over contemporaries, than any Roman is remem- 
bered to have done ; although he struck out a path for his 
ambition. which, with a view to Roman customs and ideas, 
was quite different from that of others. 

32. The Conduct and Treatment op Slaves 
Plautus, (Comedy) " Pseudolus," Act I, Sc. 2. Bohn Translation 

A Roman comedian, writing about the time of the end of the 
Second Punic War (201 B.C.), gives this picture of an inconsiderate 
master, and the kind of treatment his slaves were likely to get. 
Very probably conditions grew worse rather than better for the 
average slave household, for at least two centuries. As the 
Romans grew in wealth and the show of culture they did not 
grow in humanity. 

[BaUio, a captious slave owner, is giving orders to his servants.] 

Ballio. Get out, come, out with you, you rascals ; kept at 
a loss, and bought at a loss. Not one of you dreams minding 
your business, or being a bit of use to me, unless I carry on 
thus! [-ffe strikes his whip around on all of them."] Never 
did I see men more like asses [than you !] Why, your ribs 
are hardened with the stripes. If one flogs you, he hurts 
himself the most. [Aside.^ Regular whipping posts are 
they all, and all they do is to pilfer, purloin, prig, plunder, 
drink, eat, and abscond ! Oh ! they look decent enough ; but 
they're cheats in their conduct. 

[Addresses the slaves' again.'] Now unless you're all at- 
tention, unless you get that sloth and drowsiness out of your 
breasts and eyes, I'll have your sides so thoroughly marked 
with thongs, that you'll outvie those Campanian coverlets 
in color, or a regular Alexandrian tapestry, purple-broidered 
all over with beasts. Yesterday I gave each of you his 
special job, but you're so worthless, neglectful, stubborn, 


tliat I must remind you with a good basting. So you 
think, 1 guess, you'll get the better of this whip and of me — 
by your stout hides ! Zounds ! But your hides won't prove 
harder than my good cowhide. [iTe flourishes U.'\ Look 
at this, please ! Give heed to this ! [.Hie flogs one slave. "] 
Well ? Does it hurt ? . . . Now stand all of you here, you 
race born to be thrashed ! Turn your ears this way ! Give 
heed to what I say. You fellow that's got the pitcher, 
fetch the water. Take care the kettle's full instanter. 
You who's got the ax, look after chopping the wood. 

Slave. But this ax's edge is blunted. 

Ballio. Well ; be it so ! And so are you blunted with 
stripes, but is that any reason why you shouldn't work for 
me ? I order that you clean up the house. You know 
your business; hurry indoors. [_Hxit flrst slave.^ 

Now you [to another slave'] smooth the couches, [for the 
dinner party]. Clean the plate and put in proper order. 
Take care that when I'm back from the Forum I find things 
done, — all swept, sprinkled, scoured, smoothed, cleaned, 
and set in order. To-day's my birthday. You should all 
set to and celebrate it. Take care — do you hear — to lay 
the salted bacon, the brawn, the collared neck, and the 
udder in water. I want to entertain some fine gentlemen 
in real style, to give the idea that I'm rich. Get in doors, 
and get these things ready, so there's no delay when the 
cook ^ comes. I'm going to market to buy what fish is to 
be had. Boy, you go ahead [to a special valet], I've got to 
take care that no one cuts off my purse. 

33. Cato the Elder on how to manage Fakm Slaves 

Cato, Treatise on "Agriculture," chaps. 56-59 

Cato the Elder passed as the incarnation of all worldly wisdom 
among Romans of the second century B.C. The precepts here 

1 Hired in from outside to lielp with the special banquet. 


given were undoubtedly put in effect on his own farms. During 
the early Kepublic, when the estates were small, there seems to 
have been a fair amount of kindly treatment awarded the slaves ; 
as the farms grew larger the whole policy of the masters, by 
becoming more impersonal, became more brutal. Oato does not 
advocate deliberate cruelty — he would simply treat the slaves 
according to cold regulations, like so many expensive cattle. 

Country slaves ought to receive in the winter, when they 
are at work, four modii ' of grain ; and four modii and a half 
during the summer. The superintendent, the housekeeper, 
the watchman, and the shepherd get three modii ; slaves in 
chains four pounds of bread in winter and five pounds from 
the time when the work of training the vines ought to begin 
until the figs have ripened. 

Wine for the slaves. After the vintage let them drink 
from the sour wine for three months. The fourth month 
let them have a hemina (about half a pint) per day or two 
congii and a half (over seven quarts) per month. During the 
fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth months let them have a 
sextarius (about a pint) per day or five congii per month. 
Finally, in the ninth, tenth, and the eleventh, let them have 
three heminae (three fourths of a quart) per day, or an 
amphora (about six gallons) per month. On the Saturnalia 
and on " Compitalia " each man should have a congius (some- 
thing under three quarts). 

To feed the slaves. Let the olives that drop of them- 
selves be kept so far as possible. Keep too those har- 
vested olives that do not yield much oil, and husband them, 
for they last a long time. When the olives have been con- 
sumed, give out the brine and vinegar. You should dis- 
tribute to every one a sextarius (about a pint) of oil per 
month. A modius (quarter bushel) of salt apiece is enough 
for a year. 

As for clothes, [give out] a tunic of three feet and a half, 
1 Modius = about a quarter bushel. 


and a cloak (sagum) once in two years. When you give a 
tunic or cloak take back the old ones, to make cassocks (?) 
out of. Once in two years, good shoes should be given. 

Winter wine for the slaves. Put in a wooden cask ten 
parts of must (non-fermented wine) and two parts of very 
pungent vinegar, and add two parts of boiled wine and fifty 
of sweet water. With a paddle mix all these thrice per day 
for five days in succession. Add one forty-eighth of sea- 
water drawn some time earlier. Place the lid on the cask 
and let it ferment for ten days. This wine will last until 
the solstice. If any remains after that time, it will make 
very sharp excellent vinegar. 

34. How A Faithful Slave should Act 
Plautus, (Comedy) " Menaachmi," Act V, Sc. 4. Bobn Translation 

What a slave of about 200 a.d. had to do in order to save him- 
self from constant cuffs and stripes, is here set forth somewhat 
humorously, but with a serious undercurrent of grim truth. There 
was no high motive for a slave to behave himself — simply a fear 
of cruel punishment if he did not. There might be a hope of ulti- 
mate fireedom, but that depended entirely on the caprice of the 

Messenio, a slave, soliloquizes. 

Well, this is the proof of a good servant : he must take care 
of his master's business, look after it, arrange it, think about 
it, when his master is away, take care of it diligently ; just as 
much as if his master were present, or be even more careful. 
He must take more care of his back than his appetite, his 
legs than his stomach^ — if he's got a good heart. Just 
let him think what those good-for-nothings get from their 
masters, — lazy, worthless fellows that they are. Stripes, 
fetters, the mill, weariness, hunger, bitter cold — fine pay for 

1 1.e. take pains to avoid whippings and leg irons, even if sometimes 
he is forced to go hungry. 


idleness. That's what I'm mightily afraid of. Surely then 
it's much better to be good than to be bad. I don't mind 
tongue lashings, but I do hate real floggings. I'd rather eat 
meal somebody else grinds, than eat what I grind my- 
self.^ So I just obey what my master bids me; and I 
execute orders carefully and diligently. My obedience, I 
think, is such as is most for the profit of my back. And 
it surely does pay ! Let others do just as they think it worth 
while. I'll be just where I ought to be. If I stick to that, 
I'll avoid blunders; and I needn't be much afraid if I'm 
ready for my master, come what may. The time's pretty 
close when for this [faithful] service of mine, Tny master 
will give his reward. 

35. Spaetacus and the Slate Revolt 
Plutaich, " Life of Crassus," chaps. Vni-XI 

In 73 B.C. the "Speaking Tools'' — as the Romans called their 
slaves, especially those upon the great estates of Southern Italy — 
burst loose in a terrible insurrection, to quell which taxed the 
whole power of the government. Despite the sympathy one must 
have for these slaves and their gallant leader, their success would 
have been a calamity to civilization. An army of such brutalized 
wretches could only destroy ; they could never have erected a firm 
and tolerable government. There had already been two dangerous 
slave revolts in Sicily. After these outbreaks and the havoc and 
ten-or spread by them, the Romans out of sheer fear seem to have 
treated their slaves more harshly than ever. 

The insurrection of the gladiators and the devastation of 
Italy, commonly called the war of Spartacus, began upon 
this occasion. One Lentulus Batiates trained up a great 
many gladiators in Capua, most of them Gauls and Thra- 
cians, who, not for any fault by them committed, but 

1 Eelractory slaves were often sent to the hard labor of giiuding giaiu 
in the hand mill. 


simply through the cruelty of their master, were kept in 
confinement for the object of fighting one with another. 
Two hundred of these formed a plan to escape, but their 
plot being discovered, those of them who became aware of 
it in' time to anticipate their master, being seventy-eight, 
got out of a cook's shop chopping knives and spits, and 
made their way through the city, and lighting by the way 
on several wagons that were carrying gladiators' arms to 
another city, they seized upon them and armed themselves. 
And seizing upon a defensible place, they chose three cap- 
tains, of whom Spartacus was chief, a Thracian of one of 
the nomad tribes, and a man not only of high spirit and 
valiant, but in understanding, also, and in gentleness, supe- 
rior to his condition, and more of a Grecian than the people 
of his country usually are. 

First, then, routing those that came out of Capua against 
them, and thus procuring a quantity of proper soldiers' 
arms, they gladly threw away their own as barbarous and 
dishonorable. [Two praetors who were sent against them 
with small armies were defeated, while a third general's 
army was routed and himself slain.J After many success- 
ful skirmishes with Varinus, the praetor, himself, in one of 
which Spartacus took his lictors and his own horse, he 
began to be great and terrible; but wisely considering that 
he was not to expect to match the force of the empire, he 
marched his army towards the Alps, intending, when he 
had passed them, that every man should go to his own 
home, some to Thrace, some to Gaul. But they, grown con- 
fident in their numbers, and puffed up with their success, 
would give no obedience to him, but went about and rav- 
aged Italy ; so that .now the Senate was not only moved at 
the indignity and baseness, both of the enemy and of the 
insurrection, but, looking upon it as a matter of alarm and 
of dangerous consequence, sent out both the consuls to it, 
as to a great and difficult enterprise. The consiil Gellius, 


falling suddenly upon a party of Germans, who through 
contempt and confidence had straggled from Spartacus, cut 
them all to pieces. But when Lentulus with a large army 
besieged Spartacus, he sallied out upon him, and, joining 
battle, defeated his chief ofiBcers, and captured all his 
baggage. As he made towards the Alps, Cassius, who was 
praetor of that part of Gaul that lies about the Po, met him 
with ten thousand men, but being overcome in battle, he 
had much ado to escape himself, with the loss of a great 
many of his men. 

[The Senate in disgust now sent Crassus against the 
rebels. Spartacus, however, defeated Mummius, Crassus's 
lieutenant, and the general had to restore discipline among 
the demoralized Romans by executing fifty who had begun 
the flight ; later he advanced again] . . . but Spartacus 
retreated through Lucania toward the sea, and in the straits, 
meeting with some Cilician pirate ships, he had thoughts of 
attempting Sicily, where, by landing two thousand men, he 
hoped to kindle anew the war of the slaves, which was but 
lately extinguished, and seemed to need but a little fuel to 
set it burning again. But after the pirates had struck a 
bargain with him, and received his earnest, they deceived 
him and sailed away. He thereupon retired again from the 
sea, and established his army in the peninsula of Ehegium. 
[Here Crassus tried to blockade him. Spartacus escaped 
with part of his army to Lucania, but some of Spartacus's 
followers mutinied, and left him. This division of mal- 
contents was soon destroyed by Crassus.] 

Spartacus, after this discomfiture, retired to the mountains 
of Petelia, but Quintius, one of Crassus's officers, and Scrofa, 
the quaestor, pursued and overtook him. ,But when Spartacus 
rallied and faced them, they were utterly routed and fled, 
and had much ado to carry off their qusestor, who was 
wounded. This success, however, ruined Spartacus, because 
it encouraged the slaves, who now disdained any longer to 


avoid fighting, or to obey their officers, but as they were 
upon their march, they came to them with their swords in 
their hand, and compelled them to lead them back again 
through Lucania, against the Romans, the very thing which 
Crassus was eager for. For news was already brought that 
Pompey [Crassus's rival for military glory] was at hand ; 
and people began to talk openly that the honor of this war 
was reserved for him, who would come and at once oblige 
the enemy to fight and put an end to the war. Crassus, 
therefore, eager to fight a decisive battle, encamped very 
near the enemy, and began to make lines of circumvallation ; 
but the slaves made a sally, and attacked the pioneers. As 
fresh supplies came in on either side, Spartacus, seeing there 
was no avoiding it, set all his army in array, and when his 
horse was brought him, he drew out his sword and killed 
him, saying, if he got the day, he should have a great many 
better horses of the enemies, and if he lost it, he should 
have no need of this. And so making directly towards 
Crassus himself, through the midst of arms and wounds, he 
missed him, but slew two centurions that fell upon him to- 
gether. At last, being deserted by those that were about 
him, he himself stood his ground, and, surrounded by the 
enemy, bravely defending himself, was cut in pieces. 

36. The Austerity of Cato the Elder 

Plutarch, "Life of Marcus Cato the Elder," chaps. IV-V 

Cato the Elder (234 to 149 B.C.) during the eighty-five years of 
his hfe stood for almost all that was characteristically good and 
correspondingly had in the Roman character. In his person was 
summed up the genius of the cold-blooded, hard-headed, practical, 
abstemious, money-grasping, yet strictly law-abiding and temperate 
race of Latin farmers who conquered the world. Few great peoples 
have more strictly excluded the spiritual and ideal from their 
lives than did the Romans. 


Cato grew more and more powerful by his eloquence, so 
that he was commonly called the Roman Demosthenes, but 
his manner of life was yet more famous and talked of. 
For oratorical skill was, as an accomplishment, commonly 
studied and sought after by all young men ; but he was very 
rare who would cultivate the old habits of bodily labor, or 
prefer a light supper, and a breakfast which never saw the 
fire ; or be in love with poor clothes and a homely lodging, 
or could set his ambition rather on doing without luxuries 
than on possessing them. For now the state, unable to keep 
its purity by reason of its greatness, and having so many 
affairs, and people from all parts under its government, was 
fain to admit many mixed customs, and new examples of 

With reason, therefore, everybody admired Cato, when 
they saw others sink under labors, and grow effeminate by 
pleasures ; and yet beheld him uneonquered by either, and 
that not only when he was young and desirous of honor, but 
also when old and grayheaded, after a consulship and 
triumph ; like some famous victor in the games, persevering 
in his exercise and maintaining his character to the very last. 
He himself says, that he never wore a suit of clothes which 
cost more than a hundred drachmas ; and that, when he was 
general and consul, he drank the same wine which his work- 
men did ; and that the meat or fish which was bought in 
the market for his dinner did not cost above thirty asses. 
All of which was for the sake of the commonwealth, that 
so his body might be the hardier for the war. 

Having a piece of embroidered Babylonian tapestry left 
him, he sold it ; because none of his farmhouses were so 
much as plastered. Nor did he ever buy a slave for above 
fifteen hundred drachmas ; as he did not seek for effeminate 
and handsome ones, but able, sturdy workmen, horse keepers 
and cowherds : and these he thought ought to be sold again, 
when they grew old, and no useless servants fed in a house. 



In short, lie reckoned nothing a good bargain, which was 
superfluous ; but whatever it was, though sold for a farthing, 
he would think it a great price, if you had no need of it; 
and was for the purchase of lands for sowing and feeding, 
rather than grounds for sweeping and watering. 

Some imputed these things to petty avarice, but others 
approved of him, as if he had only the more strictly denied 
himself for the rectifying and amending of others. Yet 
certainly, in my judgment, it marks an overrigid temper, 
for a man to take the work out of his servants as out of 
brute beasts, turning them off and selling them in their old 
age, and thinking there ought to be no further commerce 
between man and man, than whilst there arises some profit 
by it. We see that kindness or humanity has a larger field 
than bare justice to exercise itself in ; law and justice we 
cannot, in the nature of things, employ on others than men ; 
but we may extend our goodness and charity even to 
irrational creatures ; and such acts flow from a gentle nature, 
as water from an abundant spring. It is doubtless the part 
of a kind-natured man to keep even worn-out horses and 
dogs, and not only take care of them when they are foals 
and whelps, but also when they are grown old. 

37. How Cato the Eldek goveened as Censoe 

Llvy, "History," book XXXIX, chaps. 40-44 

In 184 B.C. Oato the Elder was elected censor. Under his 
administration the scourge was vigorously applied to the iniquities 
and follies of the younger generation of the Roman nobles, who, 
after the Second Punic War and the victories in Greece and Asia, 
were becoming lax and luxurious. No man ever stood for " the 
good old ways " more steadfastly than did Cato ; and his censor- 
ship became a proverb for its severity. 

[Among the numerous candidates for the censorship that 
year] Marcus Porcius Cato far surpassed them all. So 


great were his mental and intellectual powers that no 
matter how humbly he was born, he seemed capable of 
reaching the highest rank. No qualification for business, 
public or private, was wanting in him. Urban or rustic 
affairs he was alike skilled in. Some have won the highest 
honors, thanks to legal knowledge : some by their eloquence, 
some by military fame — but this man's genius was so 
versatile that whichever way it was engaged it might be 
said that nature formed him for that end alone. 

In war he was most courageous, winning renown in many 
notable battles ; and when he reached the generalship, he 
[won fame too] as a distinguished commander. In peace, 
if consulted on points of law, he was the wisest councilor ; 
in litigation, he was the most eloquent, advocate. Nor was 
his oratory only of temporary interest and force, during his 
own life, leaving no monument behind it. On the contrary, 
his eloquence still lives, and will long live, consecrated to 
memory by all kinds of writings. His orations were many, 
some in his ovni behalf, some for others, or against others ; 
for he harassed his enemies [by continual litigation]. 
Enmities in abundance gave him plenty of employment, and 
he never suffered them to sleep, nor was it easy to tell 
whether the nobility labored harder to keep him down or he 
to oppress the nobility. 

Cato's seventy of Temper 

No doubt his temper was sharp, his language bitter and 
absolutely reckless, but his mind was never conquered by 
his passions, his integrity was inflexible, and he looked 
with contempt on popular favor and riches. In spare diet, 
in enduring toil and danger, his body and mind were like 
iron ; so that old age which brings all things to dissolution 
could not break his vigor. In his eighty-sixth year he 
stood a trial, pleaded his own cause, and published his 


speech ; and in his ninetieth year he brought Servius Galba 
to trial before the People. 

On the occasion when he was candidate for the censor- 
ship, as in all his previous career, the nobility tried to 
crush him. All the candidates, too, except Lucius Valerius 
Flaccus, who had been his colleague in the consulship, com- 
bined to defeat him [as being a personal enemy, and fearing 
a most severe censorship under him. Cato resisted them 
boldly and asked for Flaccus as colleague as being] " the 
only colleague, working with whom he could correct 
' modern profligacy ' and reestablish the ancient morals." 
People were so inflamed by such harangues that in spite of 
the opposition of the nobility, they not only made Cato 
censor, but gave him Flaccus for his colleague. 

How Cato dealt with Lucius Quintus 
While anxious curiosity blended with fear [in all quar- 
ters], these censors made their survey of the Senate. Seven 
they expelled therefrom, one an ex-consul, highly distin- 
guished by birth and honorable offices, — Lucius Quintius 
Flaminius. It is mentioned, as a usage instituted in memory 
of our forefathers, that the censors should annex marks of 
censure to the names of such as they degraded from the 
Senate. There are severe speeches of Cato, against those 
whom he either expelled from the Senate, or degraded from 
Equestrian rank, but by far the most so is that against 
Lucius Quintius. Had Cato given his speech as a mere 
prosecutor, not as a censor, not even Titus, Quintius's own 
brother could have suffered him to stay in the Senate. 

Among other charges he declared that he had [taken one 
Philip, a Carthaginian and a favorite serving boy, to his 
province of Gaul] and this youth used frequently in wanton 
squabbling to upbraid him for quitting Eome just before the 
gladiator show. It chanced that during a feast, while they 
were hot with wine, a message was brought into the banquet- 


ing place, that a Boian nobleman had come as a desertei 
with his children, and wished to see the consul, that he 
might in person receive his pledge of protection. He was 
accordingly introduced into the tent, and began to talk 
through an interpreter, but even as he spoke Quintius said 
to his minion, " Since you left the show of gladiators, don't 
you want to see this Gaul dying ? " When the other assented, 
but scarcely in earnest, the consul, drawing a sword that 
hung over his head, first struck the Gaul as he was speak- 
ing, and then when he was running out, begging for the " pro- 
tection of the Roman People, and everybody present," ran 
him through the body. 

[Other outrageous stories were told of the lust and cruelty 
of this Quintius. J In the latter part of Cato's speech he 
proposed to Quintius that if .he denied this fact, and the 
other accusations, he should give security to stand a regular 
trial ; but if he confessed them, could he suppose, he 
demanded, that any one would be sorry for his disgrace, — 
the disgrace of him who, in the midst of a feast, intoxicated 
as he was by wine and lust, had sported with the blood of a 
human being. 

Other Censorial Measures 

In the review of the equites, Lucius Scipio Asiaticus was 

degraded. In fixing the rates of taxation, also, the censor's 

conduct was harsh and severe on all ranks of men. People 

were ordered to give an account upon their oaths of women's 

dresses, and ornaments, and carriages exceeding in value 

15,000 asses [about $260]. Also it was ordered that 

slaves, younger than twenty years, which since the last 

[censorial] survey had been sold for 10,000 asses [about 

$166] or more should be estimated at ten times their value 

[for taxation purposes, and that on all these articles a tax 

should be laid of three denarii for each thousand asses] .^ 

1 Ten asses at this time seem to have made one denarius. This then 
was a three pei cent tax. 


The censors took away water which belonged to the ptiblic, 
that was running or was carried into any private building 
or field ; and they demolished within thirty days all build- 
ings or sheds in possession of private parties that projected 
upon public ground. They then engaged contractors for 
executing government works, with the money decreed for 
this purpose, — for paving cisterns with stone, for cleansing 
the sewers when it was needful, for forming new ones on 
the Aventine, and in other quarters, where hitherto there 
had been none. 

Dividing next their tasks, Flaccus built a mole to Nep- 
tunia on the coast, and made a road through the Formian 
hills. Cato bought for the public use two halls, the Marnian 
and the Titian in the Latumiae, and four shops, and built there 
a court of justice which was called [from him] the Porcian. 
They farmed out the several branches of the revenue at the 
highest prices, and bargained with the contractors for the 
performance of the public services on the lowest terms. 
When the Senate, overcome by the prayers and lamentar 
tions of the tax contractors,'^ ordered these bargains revoked, 
the censors, by an edict, excluded from the bidding every- 
body who had evaded the former contracts, and relet the 
same branches [of public service] at very nearly the old 

This was a remarkable censorship, and the origin of many 
deadly feuds. It rendered Marcus Cato, to whom all the 
harshness was attributed, an uneasy man for the rest of his 
life. [He died thirty-five years later.] 

38. The Agrarian Situation in Italy in 133 b.c. 

Appian, "Civil Wars," book I, 7-9. White's Translation 

The following extract makes fairly clear the condition of the 
farmers of Italy just before the rise of Tiberius Gracchus, and 

1 Who had found their contracts unprofitable. 


shows what a terrible grievance the peasantry had against the 
owners and exploiters of the latefundia — the great estates 
worked usually by cheap slave labor. 

The Romans, while they subdued one after another of the 
peoples of Italy, used to confiscate part of their lands, and 
build towns thereon, or established their own colonies in 
those already in existence, and used them in place of garri- 
sons. Of the land acquired by war they granted the culti- 
vated part promptly to settlers, or leased it, or sold it 
[outright]. Since they had no leisure, as yet, to allot the 
part which then lay desolated by war, usually the major 
part, they would proclaim that in the interval those who 
wished to till it might do so for a share of the yearly crops, 
— a tenth of the grain and a fifth of the fruit. Herdsmen 
had to give a share of their animals, both oxen and small 
cattle. This policy was followed to multiply the Italian 
race, which they reckoned the most laborious of peoples, in 
order to have plenty of allies at home. 

The very opposite thing, however, happened; for the 
wealthy, getting hold of the greater part of the undis- 
tributed lands, growing bold by lapse of time and thinking 
they would never be ousted, added to their [originalj hold- 
ings the small farms of their poor neighbors. This they 
did partly by purchase, yet partly by force; and so they 
cultivated vast tracts [of land] in lieu of mere private 
estates. To work them they used slaves as farm hands and 
herdsmen, lest free laborers should be forced to quit farm 
work for the army. The ownership of slaves brought huge 
profit from the multitude of the children [of the slaves], 
who increased because they were exempt from army service. 
Thus the magnates became marvelously rich, and the race 
of slaves multiplied through the land, while the [free] folk 
of Italy dwindled alike in numbers and power, ground down 
as they were by poverty, taxation, and [constant] service in 
the army. If any relaxation from these evils came, they 


passed their time in sheer idleness, for the land was in the 
clutches of the rich, who employed slaves as farm hands, 
not freemen. 

These were the reasons why the people became [at last] 
troubled lest they should no longer have enough allies of 
the Italian stock, and lest the very government should be 
in danger by such a horde of slaves. They did not see any 
[real] remedy, for it was not easy, nay, it was hardly just, 
to deprive men of such large holdings which they had kept 
so long, and which included [the holder's own] trees, build- 
ings, and fixtures. Once, indeed, a law had been passed on 
the motion of the tribunes, forbidding any one to hold more 
than 500 jugera (about 330 acres) of this [public] land, or 
pasture upon it more than 100 cattle or 500 sheep. To 
insure the observance of this law there must be a certain 
number of freemen kept upon the farms, whose business 
was to watch and report proceedings thereon. Persons 
holding [public] lands under the law were bound to swear 
to obey it, and penalties were laid for violation thereof. It 
was presumed that the rest of the [public] land would soon 
be divided in small lots among the poor. But not the least 
heed was paid to the law or the oaths. The few who 
seemed to respect them somewhat, conveyed their [surplus] 
lands to their relatives fraudulently; the majority disre- 
garded them altogether. [At last Tiberius Gracchus arose 
in protest.] 

39. The Murder of Tiberius Gracchus and the 
First Sedition in Rome 

Plutarch, " Life of Tiberius Gracchus," chaps. XVI-XX 

In 133 A.D. Tiberius Gracchus, having as tribune forced 
through legislation highly displeasing to the ruling nobility, sought 
reelection to office from the people. To prevent this continuance 
of their enemy in power the aristocrats did not hesitate to resort 


to violence. For practically the first time in Roman history a 
political dispute was settled not peacefully, but with clubs and 
swords. What made the murder of Tiberius Gracchus worse, was 
the fact that he was still an "inviolate" tribune. The senatorial 
oligarchy — be it noted — were the first to resort to violence and 
precipitate civil war: and they gained their reward in the 
triumph of Csesarism. 

Tiberius then went down into the market place amongst 
the people, and made his addresses to them humbly and 
with tears in his eyes ; and told them he had just reason to 
suspect that his adversaries would attempt in the night 
time to break open his house, and murder him. This worked 
so strongly with the multitude, that several of them pitched 
tents round about his house, and kept guard all night for 
the security of his person. By break of day [the soothsayer 
tried to take the omens, but the chickens refused to eat, 
— a very bad sign]. 

However, Tiberius went towards the Capitol, as soon as 
he understood that the people were assembled there; but 
before he got out of the house, he stumbled upon the 
threshold with such violence, that he broke the nail of his 
great toe, insomuch that blood gushed out of his shoe. He 
was not gone very far before he saw two ravens fighting on 
the top of a house which stood on his left hand as he passed 
along; .and though he was surrounded with a number of 
people, a stone, struck from its place by one of the ravens, 
fell just at his foot. This even the boldest men about him 
felt as a check. But Blossius of Cuma, who was present, 
told him, that it would be a shame, and an ignominious 
thing, for Tiberius, who was the son of Gracchus, the grand- 
son of Scipio Africanus, and the protector of the Roman 
people, to refuse, for fear of a silly bird, to answer, when 
his countrymen called to him; and that his adversaries 
would represent it not as a mere matter for their ridicule, 
but would declaim about it to the people as the mark of a 


tyrannical temper, which felt a pride in taking liberties 
with the people. At the same time seyeral messengers came 
also from his friends, to desire his presence at the Capitol, 
saying that all things went there according to expectation. 
And indeed Tiberius's first entrance there was in every way 
successful ; [the people received him with loud cheers, but 
in the crowd and confusion it was impossible to proceed 
with the vote in an orderly way]. 

Whilst things were in this confusion, Fulvius Flaccus, 
a senator, standing in a place where he could be seen, but 
at such a distance from Tiberius that he could not make 
him hear, signified to him by motions of his hand, that he 
wished to impart something of consequence to him in 
private. Tiberius ordered the multitude to make way for 
him, by which means, though not without some difficulty, 
Fulvius got to him, and informed him, that the rich men, in 
a sitting of the Senate, seeing they could not prevail upon 
the consul to espouse their quarrel, had come to a final 
determination amongst themselves, that he should be assas- 
sinated, and to that purpose had a great number of their 
friends and servants ready armed to accomplish it. 

Tiberius no sooner communicated this intelligence to 
those about him, but they immediately tucked up their 
gowns, broke into pieces the halberts which the officers used 
to keep the crowd off, and distributed them among them- 
selves, resolving to resist the attack with these. Those 
who stood at a distance wondered, and asked what was the 
occasion; Tiberius, knowing that they could not hear him 
at that distance, lifted his hand to his head, wishing to inti- 
mate the great danger which he apprehended himself to be 
in. His adversaries, taking notice of that action, ran off at 
once to the senate house, and declared, that Tiberius desired 
the people to bestow a crown upon him, as if this were the 
meaning of his touching his head. 

[The consul refused to order arms against Tiberius, but 


Nasica urged stern measures.] "Since the consul," said he 
" regards not the safety of the commonwealth, let every one 
who will defend the laws follow me." He, then, casting the 
skirt of his gown over his head, hastened to the Capitol; 
those who bore him company wrapped their gowns also about 
their arms and forced their way after him. And as they 
were persons of the greatest authority in the city the com- 
mon people did not venture to obstruct their passing, but 
were so eager to clear the way for them that they tumbled 
over one another in haste. The attendants they brought 
with them had furnished themselves with clubs and staves 
from their houses, and they themselves picked up the feet 
and other fragments of stools and chairs, which were broken 
by the hasty flight of the common people. 

Thus armed, they made towards Tiberius, knocking down 
those whom they found in front of him, and those were soon 
wholly dispersed, and many of them slain. Tiberius tried 
to save himself by flight. As he was running, he was stopped 
by one who caught hold of him by the gown ; but he threw 
it off, and fled in his undergarments only. And stumbling 
over those who before had been knocked down, as he was en- 
deavoring to get up again, Publius Satureius, a tribune, one 
of his colleagues, was observed to give him the first fatal 
stroke, by hitting him upon the head with the foot of a stool. 
The second blow was claimed, as though it had been a deed 
to be proud of, by Lucius Eufus. And of the rest there fell 
above three hundred, killed by clubs and staves only, none 
by an iron weapon. 

This, we are told, was the first sedition amongst the Ro- 
mans, since the abrogation of kingly government, that ended 
in the effusion of blood. All former quarrels which were 
neither small nor about trivial matters, were always amicably 
composed, by mutual concessions on either side, the Senate 
yielding for fear of the commons, and the commons out of 
respect to the Senate. And it is probable indeed that Tibe- 


rius himself might then have been easily induced, by mere 
persuasion, to give way, and certainly, if attacked at all, 
must have yielded without any recourse to violence and 
bloodshed, as he had not at that time above three thousand 
men to support him. But it is evident that this conspiracy 
was fomented against him, more out of the hatred and 
malice which the rich men had to his person, than for the 
reasons which they commonly pretended against him. In 
testimony of which, we may adduce the cruelty and unnatural 
insults which they used to his dead body. For they would 
not suffer his own brother, though he earnestly begged the 
favor, to bury him in the night, but threw him, together 
with the other corpses, into the river. 



Sallust, " Jugurthine War," chaps. 13, 16, 33, 33, 35. Bohn Translation 

Jugurtha, king of Numidia (118 to 106 B.C.), a sly and slip- 
pery African, was the occasion of revealing in plain day the 
corruption that had penetrated the Roman Senate. He was quite 
familiar with the condition of affairs in Rome, and but for the fact 
that the "popular" anti-senatorial party was again raising its 
head against his noble friends, he would probably have bought his 
way to perfect immunity. 

Jugurtha [having murdered his kinsman Hiempsal, the 
ally of Rome] began to feel a dread of the Roman people, 
against whose wrath he had no hopes of safety save in the 
avarice of the nobility and his own riches. Therefore he 
speedily sent envoys to* Rome with a profusion of gold and 
silver. He ordered them in the first place to make abun- 
dant presents to his old friends and to get him new ones — 
in short not to stickle at accomplishing everything possible 
by bribery. 

When these deputies reached Rome and had sent large 


presents as directed, to his special friends and other men 
then very influential, so remarkable a change ensued that 
Jugurtha, from being an object of the greatest odium, grew 
into great regard and favor with the nobility, who, partly 
allured with hope, and partly with actual bribes, tried — by 
soliciting the members of the Senate individually — to pre- 
vent any severe measures from being adopted against him. 
When the envoys, therefore, felt sure of success the Senate, 
on an appointed day, gave an audience to both parties.^ 

[Despite the obvious justice of the complaints of the partisans 
of Hiempsal, and the denunciations of Jugurtha by several promi- 
nent Senators, the decision was in favor of jugurtha ; and com- 
missioners were appointed to divide Numidia between him and 
Adherhal, the surving heir of the late king.] 

Although Jugurtha had already counted Scaurus [one of 
these commissioners] among his friends at Kome, yet he 
received him with the most studied ceremony, and by pres- 
ents and promises wrought on him so effectually that he 
preferred the prince's interest to his own character, honor, 
and all other considerations. The rest of the commissions 
he assailed in a similar way and gained over most of them ; 
by a few only was integrity given more weight than lucre. 

[Jugurtha accordingly had the kingdom divided altogether to 
his Uking ; nevertheless, he ultimately found himself at war with 
Rome, yet he soon found means to purchase a treaty of peace.] 

Some [Roman officers] seduced by gold had restored to 
Jugurtha his war elephants ; others had sold back to him 
his deserters; others had ravaged the lands of the popu- 
lation friendly to us [Romans], so strong was the spirit of 
rapacity, which like a contagious pestilence had pervaded 
the breasts of all. 

1 His cousin Adherbal, the cousin of Jugurtha, with whom he had been 
at war, had also sent an embassy to the Senate to make complaints 
against Jugurtha. 


Jugurtha accordingly returned to Rome, but without any 
mark of royalty, and in the costume — so far as possible — 
of a suppliant ; and though he felt great confidence on his 
own part, and was supported by everybody through whose 
influence or villainy he had executed his schemes, never- 
theless he bought — with a huge bribe — the help of Gaius 
BaBbius, a plebeian tribune, by whose brazen help he trusted 
to be protected against the law or any other harm. 

[He overreached himself, however, and popular clamor 
arising against him] he departed upon being ordered by 
the Senate to quit Italy. But, as he was leaving Rome, he, 
it is said, after frequently looking back on it silently, at 
last cried out, " venal city ! And soon to perish, — if hut 
a purchaser he found ! " 

[To conquer him and his Kumidians cost the Romans a long 
and troublesome war.] 

41. How Maeius ovbetheew the Tbutones 

Plutarcli, "Life of Marius," chaps. XVH-XXI 

In the latter part of the second century B.C. the Germanic 
tribes of the north began their restless wanderings westward and 
southward — movements that never ceased until they had de- 
stroyed the Roman Empire. But their conquest was postponed 
for centurias by the victory of Marius (102 B.C.) at Aquae Sextise 
in southern Gaul over the Teutones, a most formidable tribe 
threatening to overwhelm Italy. The deliverance was completed 
the next year by his victory over their allies, the Oimbri. This 
coming on the scene of the Germans is an event in world history, 
and worthy to be recorded. 

Now the Teutones, whilst Marius lay quiet, ventured 
to attack his camp ; from whence, however, being encoun- 
tered with showers of darts, and losing several of their men, 
they determined to march forward, hoping to reach the 
other side of the Alps without opposition, and, packing up 


their baggage, passed securely by the Roman camp, where 
the greatness of their number was especially made evident 
by the long time they took in their march, for they were 
said to be six days in passing Marius's fortifications; they 
marched pretty near, and revilingly asked the Romans 
if they would send any commands by them to their 
wives, for they would shortly be with them. As soon as 
they were passed and had gone on a little distance ahead, 
Marius began to move, and follow them at his leisure, 
always encamping at some small distance from them; 
choosing also strong positions, and carefully fortifying 
them, that he might quarter with safety. Thus they 
marched till they came to the place called Sextilius's 
Waters,^ from whence it was but a short way before being 
amidst the Alps, and here Marius put himself in readiness 
for the encounter. 

He chose a place for his camp of considerable strength, 
but where there was a scarcity of water; designing, it is 
said, by this means, also, to put an edge on his soldiers' 
courage ; and when several were not a little distressed, 
and complained of thirst, pointing to a river that ran 
near the enemy's camp : " There," said he, " you may have 
drink, if you will buy it with your blood." " Why, then," 
replied they, " do you not lead us to them, before our blood 
is dried up in us ? " He answered, in a softer tone, " Let 
us first fortify our camp," and the soldiers, though not 
without repining, proceeded to obey. [A fight was pre- 
cipitated, however, by the horse boys and camp servants 
of the Romans, who went down to the river for water 
and fell in with a small band of the enemy. After a sharp 
skirmish, the whole body of the Ambrones, a warlike tribe 
in alliance with the Teutones, came charging across the 
river against the Romans.] 

lAquse Sextiliae, more correctly Aquse Sextice, the moderQ Aix ol 
Provence, a little north of Marseilles. 


How the Battle was Precipitated 

The river disordered the Ambrones ; before they could 
draw up all their army on the other side of it, the Ligu- 
rians [allies of the Romans] presently fell upon the van, 
and began to charge them hand to hand. The Romans, 
too, coming to their assistance, and from the higher ground 
pouring upon the enemy, forcibly repelled them, and the 
most of them (one thrusting another into the river) were 
there slain, and filled it with their blood and dead bodies. 
Those that got safe over, not daring to make head, were 
slain by the Romans, as they fled to their camp and 
wagons; where the women, meeting them with swords and 
hatchets, and making a hideous outcry, set upon those 
that fled as well as those that pursued, the one as traitors, 
the other as enemies; and, mixing themselves with the 
combatants, with their bare arms pulling away the Ro- 
mans' shields, and laying hold on their swords, endured 
the wounds and slashing of their bodies to the very last, 
with undaunted resolution. Thus the battle seems to 
have happened at that river rather by accident than by the 
design of the general. 

Tlie Night after the First Day of Fighting 

After the Romans were retired from the great slaughter 
of the Ambrones, night came on; but the army was not 
indulged, as was the usual custom, with songs of victory, 
drinking in their tents, and mutual entertainments, and 
(what is most welcome to soldiers after successful fighting) 
quiet sleep, but they passed that night, above all others, in 
fears and alarm. For their camp was without either ram- 
part or palisade, and there remained thousands upon thou- 
sands of their enemies yet unconquered; to whom were 
joined as many of the Ambrones as escaped. There were 
beard, from these, all through the night, wild bewailings, 


nothing like the sighs and groans of men, but a sort of wild- 
beastlike howling and roaring, joined with threats and 
lamentations rising from the vast multitude, and echoed 
among the neighboring hills and hollow banks of the river. 
The whole plain was filled with hideous noise, insomuch 
that the Romans were not a little afraid, and Marius him- 
self was apprehensive of a confused tumultuous night 
engagement. But the enemy did not stir either this night 
or the next day, but were employed in disposing and draw- 
ing themselves up to the greatest advantage. 

The Decisive Battle on the Second Day 

Of this occasion Marius made good use ; for there were 
beyond the enemies some wooded ascents and deep valleys 
thickly set with trees, whither he sent Claudius Marcellus, 
secretly, with three thousand regular soldiers, giving him 
orders to post them in ambush there, and show themselves 
at the rear of the enemies, when the fight was begun. The 
others, refreshed with victuals and sleep, as soon as it was 
day he drew up before the camp, and commanded the horse 
to sally out into the plain, at the sight of which the 
Teutones could not contain themselves till the Romans 
should come down and fight them on equal terms, but 
hastily arming themselves, charged in their fury up the 
hillside. Marius, sending ofllcers to all parts, commanded 
his men to stand still and keep their ground ; when they 
came within reach, to throw their javelins, then use their 
swords, and, joining their shields, force them back; point- 
ing out to them that the steepness of the ground would 
render the enemy's blows ineflacient, nor could their shields 
be kept close together, the inequality of the ground hinder- 
ing the stability of their footing. 

This counsel he gave them, and was the first that fol- 
lowed it; for he was inferior to none in the use of his 


body, and far excelled all in resolution. The Romans 
accordingly stood for their approach, and, checking them in 
their advance upwards, forced them little by little to give 
way and yield down the hill, and here, on the level ground, 
no sooner had the Ambrones begun to restore their van into 
a posture of resistance, but they found their rear disordered. 
For Marcellus had not let slip the opportunity ; but as soon 
as the shout was raised among the Romans on the hills, he, 
setting his men in motion, fell in upon the enemy behind, 
at full speed, and with loud cries, and routed those nearest 
him, and they, breaking the ranks of those that were before 
them, filled the whole army with confusion. They made no 
long resistance after they were thus broke in upon, but hav- 
ing lost all order, fled. 

The Romans, pursuing them, slew and took prisoners 
above one hundred thousand, and possessing themselves of 
their spoils, tents, and carriages, voted all that was not 
plundered to Marius's share, which, though so magnificent a 
present, yet was generally thought less than his conduct 
deserved in so great a danger. 

42. The Eeign of Tereob under Sulla 

Plutarch's " Life of Sulla," chaps. XXXI-XXXn 

In 82 B.C. Sulla, having become master of the state and being 
resolved upon a thorough reorganization of the government in favor 
of the aristocrats, undertook to eliminate every person who might 
prove an enemy to his scheme. He went about this policy with a 
cold-blooded and typically Roman thoroughness. What followed 
his edict is graphically told by Plutarch. 

Few events in Roman history illustrate the lack of sentiment 
and the inherent lack of humanity among the Latins better than 
this. It is worth noticing that SuUa's cruelties did not succeed. 
Practically all his innovations in the constitution were overthrown 
in 70 B.O. 


Sulla being thus wholly bent upon slaughter, and filling 
the city with executions without number or limit, many 
wholly uninterested persons falling a sacrifice to private 
enmity, through his permission and indulgence to his friends, 
Caius Metellus, one of the younger men, made bold in the 
Senate to ask him what end there was of these evils, and at 
what point he might be expected to stop ? " We do not ask 
you," said he, " to pardon any whom you have resolved to 
destroy, but to free from doubt those whom you are pleased 
to save," Sulla answering, that he knew not as yet whom 
to spare. "Why then," said he, "tell us whom you will 
punish." This Sulla said he would do. These last words, 
some authors say, were spoken not by Metellus, but by Afid- 
ius,' one of Sulla's fawning companions. Immediately 
upon this, without communicating with any of the magis- 
trates, Sulla proscribed eighty persons, and notwithstand- 
ing the general indignation, after one day's respite, he 
posted two hundred and twenty more, and on the third 
again, as many. 

In an address to the people on this occasion, he told them 
he had put up as many names as he could think of; those 
which had escaped his memory he would publish at a future 
time. He issued an edict likewise, making death the pun- 
ishment of humanity, proscribing any who should dare to 
receive and cherish a proscribed person, without exception 
to brother, son, or parents. And to him who should slay 
any proscribed person he ordained two talents reward, even 
were it a slave who had killed his master, or a son his 
father. And what was thought most unjust of all, he 
caused the attainder to pass to their sous, and son's sons, 
and made open sale of all their property. 

Nor did the proscription prevail only at Rome, but 
throughout all the cities of Italy the effusion of blood was 

1 Afldius is probably a mistake (of Plutarch or of a transcriber) for 


such, that neither sanctuary of the gods, nor hearth of hos- 
pitality, nor ancestral home escaped. Men were butchered 
ia the embraces of their wives, children iu the arms of 
their mothers. Those who perished through public ani- 
mosity or private enmity were nothing in comparison to 
the numbers of those who suffered for their riches. Even 
the murderers began to say, that "his fine house killed this 
man, a garden that, a third, his hot baths." Quintus Aure- 
lius, a quiet, peaceable man, and one who thought all his 
part in the common calamity consisted in condoling, with 
the misfortunes of others, coming into the Forum to read the 
list, and finding himself among the proscribed, cried out, 
" Woe is me, my Alban farm has informed against me." He 
had not gone far, before he was dispatched by a ruifian, 
sent on that errand. 

Meantime, Marius [the Younger], when about to be taken, 
killed himself; and Sulla, coming to Praeneste, at first pro- 
ceeded judicially against each particular person, till at last, 
finding it a work of too much time, he cooped them up to- 
gether in one place, to the number of twelve thousand men, 
and gave order for the execution of them all, his own host 
alone excepted. But he, brave man, telling him he could 
not accept the obligation of life from the hands of one who 
had been the ruin of his country, went in among the rest, 
and submitted willingly to the stroke. 

What Lucius Catilina did was thought to exceed all other 
acts. For having, before matters came to an issue, made 
away with his brother, he besought Sulla to place him in the 
list of proscription, as though he had been alive, which was 
done ; and Catiline, to return the kind office, assassinated a 
certain Marcus Marius, one of the adverse party, and brought 
the head to Sulla, as he was sitting in the Forum, and then 
going to the holy water of Apollo, which was nigh, washed 
bis hands. 


43. The Vast Power of Mitheidates 

Appian, " Mithridatic Wars," 118-119. White's Translation 

In Mithridates, king of Pontus (reigned 120 to 63 B.C.), the 
Romans found their most formidable enemy, save only Hannibal. 
That he was a foeman worthy to contend with Sulla, Lucullus, 
and Pompey is testified to in the following from Appian. In con- 
quering Mithridates the Romans, almost against their wish, were 
forced to conquer most of the nearer Orient, — especially all of 
Asia Minor and Syria, — and to come face to face with Parthia. 

[When at last Mithridates had been overthrown the Romans 
called the victory over him " The Great Victory " and Pompey, his 
conqueror, " The Great " — on account of the magnitude and inten- 
sity of his resistance.] 

Many times Mithridates had over 400 ships of his own, 
60,000 cavalry, and 250,000 infantry, with engines and arms 
in proportion. For allies he had the king of Armenia and 
the princes of the Scythian tribes around the Euxine and 
the Sea of Azov and beyond, as far as the Thracian Bospho- 
rus. He held communication with the leaders of the Roman 
civil wars, which were then fiercely raging, and with those 
who were inciting insurrections in Spain. He established 
friendly relations with the Gauls for the purpose of invading 

From Cilicia to the Pillars of Hercules he also filled the 
sea with pirates, who stopped all commerce and navigation 
between cities, and caused severe famine for a long time. 
In short, he left nothing within the power of man undone 
or untried to start the greatest possible movement, extend- 
ing from the Orient to the Occident, to vex, so to speak, the 
whole world, which was warred upon, tangled in alliances, 
harassed by pirates, or vexed by the neighborhood of the 
warfare. Such and so diversified was this one war [against 
Mithridates], but in the end it brought the greatest gain to 
the Romans ; for it pushed the boundaries of their dominion 
from the setting of the sun to the river Euphrates. 


44. LucuLLus's Triumph ovee Mitheidatbs and his 
LuxuBious Mode of Life 

Plutarch, " Life of LucuUus," chaps. XXXVU, XXXI-XLII 

LucuUus (died about 56 B.C.) would have conquered Mithri- 
dates, had not Pompey been sent out (66 B.C.) to supersede him. 
As it was, he brought back from the East enough wealth for 
a magnificent triumph. Afterwards, disgusted at the political 
situatioH, he retired into private life and spent his days in a 
splendid luxury and gilded indolence that made his name pro- 
verbial. We still speak of "Lucullan banquets." 

Lucullus, upon his return to Eome, found his brother 
Marcus accused by Caius Memmius for his acts as quaestor, 
done by Sulla's orders; and on his acquittal, Memmius 
changed the scene, and animated the people against Lucul- 
lus himself, urging them to deny him a triumph for appro- 
priating the spoils and prolonging the war. In this great 
struggle, the nobility and chief men went down and, min- 
gling in person among the tribes, with much entreaty and 
labor, scarce at length prevailed upon them to consent to his 
triumph. The pomp of which proved not so wonderful 
or so wearisome with the length of the procession and the 
number of things carried in it, but consisted chiefly in vast 
quantities of arms and machines of the king's, with which 
he adorned the Flaminian circus, a spectacle by no means 

In his progress there passed by a few horsemen in heavy 
armor, ten chariots armed with scythes, sixty friends and 
officers of the king's, and a hundred and ten brazen-beaked 
ships of war, which were conveyed along with them, a 
golden image of Mithridates six feet high, a shield set with 
precious stones, twenty loads of silver vessels, and thirty- 
two of golden cups, armor, and money, all carried by men. 
Besides which, eight mules were laden with golden couches, 
fifty-six with bullion, and a hundred and seven with coined 


silver, little less than two millions seven hundred thousand 
pieces. There were tablets, also, with inscriptions, stating 
what moneys he gave Pompey for prosecuting the piratic 
war, what he delivered into the treasury, and what he gave 
to every soldier, which was nine hundred and fifty drachmas 
[about $160] each. After all which, he nobly feasted the 
city and adjoining villages. 

LucuUus's Villas 

And, indeed, LucuUus's life, like the Old Comedy, presents 
us at the commencement with acts of policy and of war, at 
the end offering nothing but good eating and drinking, 
feastings and revelings, and mere play. For I give no 
higher name to his sumptuous buildings, porticoes, and baths, 
still less to his paintings and sculptures, and all his industry 
about these curiosities, which he collected with vast expense, 
lavishly bestowing all the wt alth and treasure which he got 
in the war upon them, insomuch that even now, with all the 
advance of luxury, the Lucullan gardens are counted the 
noblest the emperor has. 

Tubero the stoic, when he saw his buildings at Naples, 
where he suspended the hills upon vast tunnels, brought in 
the sea for moats and fish ponds round his house, and built 
pleasure houses in the waters, called him ' Xerxes in a gown.' 
He had also fine seats in Tusculum, belvederes, and large 
open balconies for men's apartments, and porticoes to walk 
in, where Pompey coming to see him, blamed him for mak- 
ing a house which would be pleasant in summer, but 
uninhabitable in winter ; whom he answered with a smile, 
" You think me, then, less provident than cranes and storks, 
not to change my home with the season." 

When a praetor, with great expense and pains, was pre- 
paring a spectacle for the people, and asked him to lend 
him some purple robes for the performers in a chorus, he 
told him he would go home and see, and if he had got any, 


would let him have them ; and the next day asking how 
many he wanted, and being told that a hundred would- 
suffice, bade him to take twice as many ; on which the poet 
Horace observes, that a house is but a poor one, where the 
valuables unseen and unthought of do not exceed all those 
that meet the eye. 

Lucullus's daily entertainments were ostentatiously 
extravagant, not only with purple coverlets, and plate 
adorned with precious stones, and dancings, and interludes, 
but with the greatest diversity of dishes and the most elabo- 
rate cookery, for the vulgar to admire and envy. It was a 
happy thought of Pompey in his sickness, when his physician 
prescribed a thrush for his dinner, and his servants told 
him that in summer time thrushes were not to be found 
anywhere but in Lucullus's fattening coops, that he would 
not suffer them to fetch one thence, but observing to his 
physician, " So if Lucullus had not been an epicure, Pompey 
had not lived," ordered something else that could easily be 
got to be prepared for him. Cato was his friend and connec- 
tion, but, nevertheless, so hated his life and habits, that when 
a young man in the Senate made a long and tedious speech, 
in praise of frugality and temperance, Cato got up and said, 
"How long do you mean to go on making money like Cras- 
sus, living like Lucullus, and talking like Cato?" There 
are some, however, who say the words were said, but not 
by Cato. 

It is plain from the anecdotes on record of him, that 
Lucullus was not only pleased with, but even gloried in, his 
way of living. For he is said to have feasted several Greeks 
upon their coming to Eome day after day, who, out of a true 
Grecian principle, being ashamed, and declining the invita- 
tion, where so great an expense was every day incurred for 
them, he with a smile told them, "Some of this, indeed, my 
Grecian friends, is for your sakes, but more for that of 


How Lucullus entertained Cicero and Pompey 

Once when lie supped alone, there being only one course, 
and that but moderately furnished, he called his steward 
and reproved him, who, professing to have supposed that 
there would be no need of any great entertainment, when no- 
body was invited, was answered, " What, did not you know, 
then, that to-day Lucullus dines with Lucullus?" Which 
being much spoken of about the city, Cicero and Pompey 
one day met him loitering in the Forum, the former his inti- 
mate friend and familiar, and, though there had been some 
ill will between Pompey and him about the command in the 
war, still they used to see each other and converse on easy 
terms together. Cicero accordingly saluted him, and asked 
him whether to-day were a good time for asking a favor of 
him, and on his answering, "Very much so," and begging to 
hear what it was, " Then," said Cicero, " we should like to 
dine with you to-day, just on the dinner that is prepared 
for yourself." Lucullus being surprised, and requesting a 
day's time, they refused to grant it, neither suffered him to 
talk to his servants, for fear he should give order for more 
than was appointed before. But thus much they consented 
to, that before their faces he might tell his servant, that 
to-day he would sup in the Apollo (for so one of his best 
dining rooms was called), and by this evasion he outwitted 
his guests. For every room, as it seems, had its own 
assessment of expenditure, dinner at such a price, and all 
else in accordance ; so that the servants, on knowing where 
he would dine, knew also how much was to be expended, 
and in what style and form dinner was to be served. The 
expense for the Apollo was fifty thousand drachmas 
[$8000], and thus much being that day laid out, the great- 
ness of the cost did not so much amaze Pompey and Cicero, 
as the rapidity of the outlay. One might believe Lucullus 
thought his money really captive and barbarian, so wantonly 
and contumeliously did he treat it. 


Lucullus's Library 

His furnishing a library, however, deserves praise and 
record, for he collected very many and choice manuscripts ; 
and the use they were put to was even more magnificent 
than the purchase, the library being always open, and the 
walks and reading rooms about it free to all Greeks, whose 
delight it was to leave their other occupations and hasten 
thither as to the habitation of the Muses, there walking 
about, and diverting one another. He himself often passed 
his hours there, disputing with the learned in the walks, 
and giving his advice to statesmen who required it, inso- 
much that his house was altogether a home, and in a man- 
ner a Greek prytaneum for those that visited Eome. He 
was fond of all sorts of philosophy, and was well read and 
expert in them all. But he always from the first specially 
favored and valued the Academy ; not the New one, which 
at that time under Philo flourished with the precepts of 
Carneades, but the Old one, then sustained and represented 
by Antiochus of Ascalon, a learned and eloquent man. Lu- 
cullus with great labor made him his friend and companion, 
and set him up against Philo's auditors, among whom Cicero 
was one, who wrote an admirable treatise in defense of his 
sect, in which he puts the argument in favor of comprehen- 
sion ^ in the mouth of Lucullus, and the opposite argument 
in his own. 

45. Pompey's Conquest of the East 

Appian, "Mithridatic Wars," 114-119. White's Translation 

Pompey is usually overshadowed in most histories by his greater 
rival, Cffisar, but he won marked successes along certain lines. The 
greatest thing that he did was to consolidate and organize the 
Koman power in Asia Minor, Syria, and Palestine. How impor- 

1 Or rather the book might he defined as " Apprehension " as opposed 
to mere sensation or impression. 


tant this work was, and how magnificent was the triumph that 
Pompey celebrate in Rome (September 30th, 61 B.C.) is told by 
Appian. Incidentally a good idea is given of a typical Roman 

Pompey having cleaned out the robber dens, and pros- 
trated the greatest king living [Mithridates] in one and 
the same war; and having fought successful battles, besides 
those of the Pontic war, with Colchians, Albanians, Iberi- 
ans, Armenians, Medes, Arabs, Jews, and other Eastern 
nations, extended the Roman sway as far as Egypt. He 
let some of the subjugated nations go free, and made them 
allies. Others he placed at once under Roman rule ; still 
others he distributed to [various vassal-] kings. 

He founded cities also : in Lesser Armenia Nicopolis, ' 
named for his victory, in Pontus Eupatoria, which Mithri- 
dates Eupator had built and named after himself, but de- 
stroyed because it had received the Romans. Pompey 
rebuilt it, and named it Magnopolis. In Cappadocia he 
rebuilt Mazaca, which had been completely ruined by the 
war. He restored other towns in many places, that had 
been destroyed or damaged, in Pontus, Palestine, CobIb- 
Syria, and Cilicia, in which he settled the greater part of 
the pirates [he had conquered], and where the city for- 
merly called Soli is now known as Pompeiopolis. The city 
of Talauri [in Pontus] Mithridates had used as a store- 
house of furniture. Here were found 2000 drinking cups, 
made of onyx welded with gold, and many cups, wine 
coolers, and drinking horns, bridles for horses, etc. ... all 
ornamented in like manner with gold and precious stones. 
The quantity of this store was so great that the inventory 
of it occupied thirty days. These things had been inherited 
from Darius [the Great of Persia and other mighty rulers]. 

At the end of the winter [63-62 b.c] Pompey distributed 
rewards to the army, 1500 Attic drachmas [about |270] 
to each soldier, and in like proportion to the officers, the 


whole, it was said, amounting to 16,000 talents [considerably 
over $ 16,000,000]. Then he marched to Ephesus, embarked 
for Italy, and hastened to Borne, having disrnissed his sol- 
diers at Brundisium to their homes, by which act his popu- 
larity was greatly increased among the Komans. 

His Great Triumph at Rome 

As he approached the city he was met by successive pro- 
cessions, first of youths, farthest from the city ; then bands 
of men of different ages came out as far as they severally 
could walk ; last of all came the Senate, which was lost in 
wonder at his exploits, for no one had ever before vanquished 
so powerful an enemy and at the same time brought so many 
great nations under subjection and extended the Koman rule 
to the Euphrates. 

He was awarded a triumph exceeding in brilliancy any 
that had gone before. It occupied two successive days; 
and many nations were represented in the procession from 
Pontus, Armenia, Cappadocia, Cilicia, all the peoples of 
Syria, besides Albanians, Heniochi, Achseans, Scythians, 
and Eastern Iberians ; 700 complete ships were brought 
into the harbor j"^ in the triumphal procession were two- 
horse carriages and litters laden with gold or with other 
ornaments of various kinds, also the couch of Darius, the 
son of Hystaspes, the throne and scepter of Mithridates 
Eupator himself, and his image, eight cubits high, made of 
solid gold, and 75,000,000 drachmae of silver coin [about 
$13,500,000.] The number of wagons carrying arms was 
infinite and the number of prows of ships. After these 
came the multitude of captives and pirates, none of them 
bound, but all arrayed in their native costume. 

Before Pompey himself were led the satraps, sons and 
generals of the kings against whom he had fought, who were 

1 Probably of Ostia. 


present — some having been captured, some given as hostages 
to the number of 324. Among them were [five sons of 
Mithridates, and two daughters ; also Aristobulus, king of the 
Jews ; the tyrants of the Cilicians, and other potentates]. 

There were carried in the procession images of those who 
were not present, of Tigranes [king of Armenia] and of 
Mithridates, representing them as fighting, as vanquished, and 
as fleeing. Even the besieging of Mithridates and his silent 
flight by night were represented. Finally, it was shown 
how he died, and the daughters who perished with him 
were pictured also, and there were figures of the sons and 
daughters who died before him, and images of the barbarian 
gods decked out in the fashion of their countries. A tablet 
was borne, also, inscribed thus : — 










Pompey himself was borne in a chariot studded with gems, 
wearing, it is said, the cloak of Alexander the Great, if any 
one can believe that. This was supposed to have been found 
among the possessions of Mithridates. . . . His chariot was 
followed by the officers who had shared the campaigns with 
him, some on horseback, and others on foot. When he 
' reached the Capitol, he did not put any prisoners to death, as 


liad been customary at other triumphs, but sent them all home 
at the public expense, except the kings.^ Of these Aristo- 
bulus alone was shortly put to death, and Tigranes [son of 
the king of Armenia] some time later. 
Such was Pompey's triumph ! 

46. The Wealth and Habits of Ceasstts the 

Plutarch, " Life of Crassus," chaps, n-m 

Marcus Licinius Crassus, the third member of the " First 
Triumvirate," — along with Pompey and Caesar, — was a soldier 
of moderate capacity, and a somewhat abler poUtician. But his 
chief powet and distinction came through his wealth. He had 
probably the largest private fortune made in Eome under the 
KepubHc ; though under the Empire it seems in several instances 
to have been surpassed. Some of the means whereby he grew rich 
are here stated. 

People were wont to say that the many virtues of Crassus 
were darkened by the one vice of avarice, and indeed he 
seemed to have no other but that; for it, being the most 
predominant, obscured others to which he was inclined. 
The arguments in proof of his avarice were the vastness of 
his estate, and the manner of raising it ; for whereas at first 
he was not worth above three hundred talents [$300,000], 
yet, though in the course of his political life he dedicated 
the tenth of all he had to Hercules, and feasted the people, 
and gave to every citizen corn enough to serve him three 
months, upon casting up his accounts, before he went upon 
his Parthian expedition, he found his possessions to amount 
to seven thousand one hundred talents [$7,100,000] ; most 
of which, if we may scandal him with a truth, he got by fire 
and rapine, making his advantage of the public calamities. 
For when Sulla seized the city, and exposed to sale the 

1 Most unusual though highly politic clemency. 


goods of those that he had caused to be slain, accountiug 
them booty and spoils, and, indeed, calling them so too, 
and was desirous of making as many, and as eminent men 
as he could, partakers in the crime, Crassus never was the 
man that refused to accept, or give money for them. 

Moreover, observing how extremely subject the city was 
to fire, and to the falling down of houses, by reason of their 
height and their standing so near together, he bought slaves 
that were builders and architects, and when he had collected 
these to the number of more than five hundred, he made it 
his practice to buy houses that were on fire, and those in 
the neighborhood which, in the immediate danger and un- 
certainty, the proprietors were willing to part with for little 
or nothing ; so that the greatest part of Rome, at' one time 
or other, came into his hands. 

Yet for all he had so many workmen, he never built any- 
thing but his own house, and used to say that those that 
were addicted to building would undo themselves soon 
enough without the help of other enemies. And though he 
had many silver mines, and much valuable land, and 
laborers to work in it, yet all this was nothing in com- 
parison to his slaves, such a number and variety did he 
possess of excellent readers, amanuenses, silversmiths, 
stewards, and table waiters, whose instruction he always 
attended to himself, superintending in person while they 
learned, and teaching them himself, as counting it the 
main duty of a master to look over the servants, that are, 
indeed, the living tools of housekeeping. But it was surely 
a mistaken judgment, when he said "no man was to be 
accounted rich that could not maintain an army at his own 
cost and charges, for war " . . . . 

Crassus, however, was very eager to be hospitable to 
strangers ; he kept open house, and to his friends he would 
lend money without interest, but called it in precisely at 
the time; so that his kindness was often thought worse 


than the paying the interest would have been. His enter- 
tainments were, for the most part, plain and citizenlike, 
the company general and popular ; good taste and kindness 
made them pleasanteT than sumptuosity would have done. 

As for learning, he chiefly cared for rhetoric, and what 
would be serviceable with large numbers ; he became one of 
the best speakers at Rome, and by his pains and industry 
outdid the best natural orators. For there was no trial 
how mean and contemptible soever that he came to un- 
prepared ; nay, several times he undertook and concluded a 
cause, when Pompey and Caesar and Cicero refused to stand 
up, upon which account particularly he got the love of the 
people, who looked upon him as a diligent and careful 
man, ready to help succor his fellow citizens. Besides, 
the people were pleased with his courteous and unpretend- 
ing salutations and greetings ; for he never met any citizen 
however humble and low, but he returned him his salute by 
name. He was also looked upon as a man well read in 
history, and pretty well versed in Aristotle's philosophy. 

47- QuiNTus CicEEo's Advice to his Beother when 
Candidate foe the Consulship 

Cicero, " Letters," Vol. I (Appendix, pp. 367 ff.). Shuckburgh's 

In 63 B.C. Marcus Cicero, the great •orator, was consul, having 
been elected after a very lively canvass. What a candidate had 
to do while he paraded the Forum seeking for votes during the 
days before the electoral comitia, is told in a lively manner in 
this tract, which is ascribed to Quintus Cicero,^ the brother of the 
famous advocate. It is impossible to quote more than a part. 
The second selection is a letter from Marcus Cicero to his brother, 
which tells its own story as to the illicit use of money in a Roman 

1 Some doubts have been cast upon the authorship of this essay, but it 
is undoubtedly, true to conditions at Rome. 


Almost every day as you go down to the Forum you 
must say to yourself, "I am a novus homo" [le. without 
noble ancestry]. "I am a candidate for the consulship." 
" This is Eome. " For the " newness " of your name you will 
best compensate by the brilliance of your oratory. This 
has ever carried with it great political distinction. A man 
who is held worthy of defending ex-consuls, cannot be 
deemed unworthy of the consulship itself. Wherefore 
approach each individual ^case with the persuasion that on 
it depends as a whole your entire reputation. See that all 
those aids to natural ability, which I know are your special 
gifts are ready for use ... and finally take care that both 
the number and rank of your friends are unmistakable. 
For you have, as few novi homines ^ have had, — all the tax- 
syndicate promoters, nearly the whole equestrian order, 
and many municipal towns, especially devoted to you, 
many people who have been defended by you, many trade 
guilds, and beside these a large number of the rising 
generation, who have become attached to you in their 
enthusiasm for public speaking, and who visit you daily 
in swarms, and with such constant regularity ! 

See that you retain these advantages by reminding these 
persons, by appealing to them, and by using every means 
to make them understand that this, and this only, is 
the time for those who are in your debt now, to show 
their gratitude,^ and for those who wish for your services 
in the future, to place you under an obligation. It also 
seems possible that a "new man" may be much aided by 
the fact that he has the good wishes of men of high rank, 
and especially of ex-consuls. It is a point in your favor 
that you should be thought worthy of this position and 

1 Men, like Cicero, -who had no ancestors who had held . the upper 
("curule ") offices. 

2 Theoretically Roman advocates did not receive regular fees, but 
enjoyed the often substantial "gratitude " of their clients. 


rank by the very men to whose position you are wishing 
to attain. 

All these men must be canvassed with care, agents must 
be sent to them, and they must be convinced that we have 
always been at one with the Optimates (Aristocratic Party), 
that we have never been dangerous demagogues in the very 
least ; that if we seem ever to have said anything in the 
spirit of the other party, we did it with a view of attracting 
Pompey, that we might have that man of the greatest in- 
fluence either actively on our side of the canvass, or at least 
neutral.^ Also take pains to get on your side the young men 
of high rank, and keep the friendship of those whom you 
already have. They will contribute much to your political 
position. You have many already : make them feel how 
much you think depends on them ; if you rouse to zeal 
those who are now only lukewarm friends, that will be a 
vast gain. 

[The writer then goes on to analyze the weak points in 
Cicero's leading rivals : their vile characters, their numerous 
• personal crimes, their blunders as officials, etc., — all of 
which facts Cicero must take advantage.'' He must also 
try to make " friends " of every kind of citizen.] " Who- 
soever gives any sign of inclination to you, or regularly 
visits your house, you must put down in the category of 
friends, But yet the most advantageous thing is to be 
beloved and pleasant in the eyes of those who are friends 
on the more regular grounds of relationship by blood or 
marriage, the membership in the same club, or some close 
tie or other. You must take great pains that [these men] 
should love you and desire your highest honor — as, for ex- 
ample, your tribesmen, neighbors, clients, and finally your 

1 Cicero's brother evidently fears he may be suspected of party irregu- 
larity — of having favored the rival Populares (Catiline's party). 

2 Politics in Cicero's day seem to have been on a fearfully scurrilous 
and personal basis. 


freedmen, yes even your slaves : for nearly all the gossip 
that forms public opinion emanates from your own servants' 

In a word, you must secure friends of every class, magis- 
trates, consuls and their tribunes to win you the vote of the 
centuries [that elect the consuls]: men of wide popular 
influence. Those who either have gained or hope to gain the 
vote to a tribe or a century, or any other advantage, through 
2/OMr influence [for them], take all pains to collect and to 

[Cicero must not be squeamish about making friends ; he 
can "without loss of dignity" affect familiarity with about 
any one and must by all means do so.] . . . 

So you see that you will have the votes of all the centu- 
ries secured for you by the number and variety of your 
friends. The first and obvious thing is that you embrace 
the Roman senators and equites, and the active and popular 
men of all the other orders. There are many city men of 
good business habits, there are many freedmen engaged 
in the Forum who are popular and energetic : these men try 
with all your might, both personally and by common 
friends, to make eager in your behalf. Seek them out, send 
agents to them, show them that they are putting you under 
the greatest possible obligation. After that, review the 
entire city, all guilds, districts, neighborhoods. If you can 
attach to yourself the leading men in these, you will by 
their means easily 'keep a hold upon the multitude. 

When you have done that, take care to have in your 
mind a chart of all Italy laid out according to the tribes in 
each town, and learn it by heart, so that you may not allow 
any chartered town, colony, praefecture, in a word, any spot 
in Italy to exist, in which you have not a firm foothold. 
Trace out also individuals in every region, inform yourself 
about them, seek them out, secure that in their own dis- 
tricts they shall canvass for you, and be, as it were, candi- 


date.s in your interest. Men in country towns think them- 
selves in the position of friends if we of the city know 
them by name; if, however, they think they are besides 
getting some protection [by your legal talent] for them- 
selves, they will not miss the chance of proving obliging. 

[After having thus worked for the "rural vote"], the 
centuries of the equites too seem capable of being won over 
if you are careful. And you should be strenuous in seeing 
as many people as possible every day of every possible 
class and order, for from the mere numbers of these [who 
greet you] you can make a guess of the amount of support 
you will get on the balloting. Your visitors are of three 
kinds: one consists of morning callers who come to your 
house, a second of those who escorb you to the Forum, the 
third of those who attend you [constantly] on your can- 
vass. In the case of the mere morning callers, who are less 
select, and according to present-day fashion, are decidedly 
numerous, you must contrive to think that you value even 
this slight attention [of a call] very highly. It often hap- 
pens that people when they visit a number of candidates, 
and observe the one that pays special heed to their atten- 
tions, leave off visiting the others, and little by little 
become real supporters of this man. 

Secondly, to those who escort you to the Forum : Since 
this is a much greater attention than a mere morning 
call, indicate clearly that they are still more gratifying to 
you; and [with them], as far as it shall lie in your power, 
go down to the Forum at fixed times, for the daily escort 
[of a candidate] by its numbers produces a great impression 
and confers great personal distinction. 

The third class is that of people who continually attend 
you upon your canvass. See that those who do so spon- 
taneously understand that you regard yourself as for- 
ever obliged by their extreme kindness ; from these on the 
other hand, who owe you the attention [for services ren- 


dered] frankly demand that so far as their age and business 
allow they should be constantly in attendance, and that 
those who are unable to accompany you in person, should 
find relatives to substitute in performing this duty. I am 
very anxious and think it most important that you should 
always be surrounded with numbers. Besides, it confers a 
great reputation, and great distinction to be accompanied by 
those whom you have defended and saved in the law courts. 
Put this demand fairly before them — that since by your 
means, and without any fee, — some have retained prop- 
erty, others their honor, or their civil rights, or their entire 
fortunes, — and since there will never be any other time 
when they can show their gratitude, they now should 
reward you by this service. 

Letter of Cicero iUustrating Bribery in Elections at Borne 
S4 B.a. 

Epistles to Quintus, n, 14. Shuckburgh, I, p. 279. 
" There is a fearful recrudescence of bribery. Never was 
there anything like it. On the 15th of July the rate of 
interest rose from four to eight per cent,^ owing to the com- 
pact made by Memmius with the consul Domitius. I am 
not exaggerating. They offer as much as 10,000,000 ses- 
terces [about $400,000] for the vote of the first century [in 
the consular elections]. The matter is a burning scandal. 
The candidates for the tribuneship have made a mutual 
compact; having deposited 500,000 sesterces [about $20,000] 
apiece with Cato, they agree to conduct their canvass accord- 
ing to his directions, with the understanding that any one 
offending against it will be condemned to forfeit by him.^ 

1 All the available money on loan had been comeTed to carry out a cor- 
rupt election bargain. 

2 Cato the Younger was famed for his personal probity. Tliis mutual 
compact of the candidates for tribune was to insure a "clean canvass," 
with Cato acting as referee of the conduct of the candidates. 


If this election [for tribunes] then turns out to be pure, 
Cato will have been of more avail than all the laws and 
jurors put together." 

48. Conditions in Eome while Catiline was Plotting 

Sallust, " Conspiracy of Catiline," chaps. 11-16. Bohn Translation 

Catiline's anarehiatie conspiracy of 63 B.C. was, of course, only 
possible in a society in which there were a great number of depraved 
and desperate men, ready for any enterprise, however villainous. 
For such spirits OatUine was an ideal leader. In this quotation 
from Sallust we see how it became possible for him to find a large 
following, and what manner of man he was personally. 

After Sulla had recovered the government by force of 
arms, everybody became robbers and plunderers. Some set 
their hearts on houses, some on lands. His victorious 
troops knew no restraint, no moderation, but inflicted on the 
citizens disgraceful and inhumane outrages. [The whole 
period was one of debauched tastes and lawlessness.] 

When wealth was once counted an honor, and glory, 
authority, and power attended it, virtue lost her influence, 
poverty was thought a disgrace, and a life of innocence was 
regarded as a life of mere ill nature. From the influence of 
riches, accordingly, luxury, avarice, pride came to prevail 
among the youth. They grew at once rapacious and prodi- 
gal. They undervalued what was their own; they set at 
nought modesty and continence ; they lost all distinction 
between sacred and profane, and threw off all consideration 
and self-restraint. 

The Spread of Evil Luxuries 

It is a serious matter for reflection, after viewing our 
modern [town] mansions and villas, extended to the veri- 
table size of cities, to contemplate the temples which our 
ancestors, a most devout race of men, erected to the gods. 


But our forefathers adorned the fanes of the deities with 
devotion, and their homes with their own glory, and took 
nothing from what they conquered but the power of doing 
harm ; their descendants on the contrary have even wrested 
from their allies, with rank injustice, whatever their brave 
and victorious ancestors had left to their vanquished ene- 
mies, — as if the only use of power was to inflict injury. 

Why should I mention these displays of extraordinary 
luxury [which now set in], which can be believed only 
by those who have seen them ; as, for example, how moun- 
tains have been leveled, and seas actually built over with 
edifices by many a private citizen, — men whom I deem to 
have made a sport of their wealth, since they were impa- 
tient to squander disreputably what they might have en- 
joyed with honor. 

How Luxury promoted Bad Morals 

But the love of irregular gratification, open debauchery, 
and all kinds of luxury had spread abroad with no less force. 
Men and women alike threw off all restraints of modesty. 
To gratify appetite they sought for every kind of produc- 
tion by land or sea. They slept before there was any [nat- 
ural] inclination to sleep. They no longer waited to feel 
hunger, thirst, or fatigue, but anticipated them all by luxu- 
rious indulgence. Such propensities drove young men, when 
their patrimonies were run through, to criminal practices; 
for their minds, impregnated with evil habits, could not 
easily abstain from gratifying their passions, and were thus 
the more inordinately devoted in every way to rapacity and 

Cliaracter and Career of Catiline 

In so populous and corrupt a city [as Rome] Catiline 
easily kept about him, as a bodyguard, crowds of the law- 
less and desperate. All the shameless libertines and profli- 


gate rascals were his associates and intimate friends, — the 
men who had sc[uandered their paternal estates by gaming, 
luxury, sensuality, and all too who had plunged heavily into 
debt to buy immunity for crimes; all assassins or sacrile- 
gious persons from every quarter, convicted, or dreading 
conviction for their misdeeds ; all, likewise, for whom their 
tongue or hand won a livelihood by perjury or bloodshed ; 
all, in short, whom wickedness, poverty, or a guilty con- 
science goaded [were friends to Catiline]. 

If any man of character as yet unblemished fell into his 
society, he presently rendered him by daily intercourse and 
temptation like to and equal to the rest. But it was the 
young whose acquaintance he chiefly courted [and easily 
ensnared]. For as the passions of each, according to his 
years, were aroused, he furnished mistresses to some, bought 
horses and dogs for others, and spared, in a word, neither 
his purse nor his character, if he could make them his 
devoted and trustworthy supporters. 

[Catiline was alleged to have corrupted a Vestal Virgin, 
and wrought many vile crimes ; at last, smitten with a pas- 
sion for a certain Aurelia, he murdered his own grown-up 
son, because she objected to marrying him and having in 
the house a grown-up stepson.] And this crime seems to 
me to have been the chief cause of hurrying forward his 
conspiracy. For his guilty mind, at peace neither with 
gods nor men, found no comfort either waking or sleeping, 
so utterly ,did conscience desolate his tortured spirit. His 
complexion, in consequence, was pale, his eyes haggard, his 
walk sometimes quick and sometimes slow, and distraction 
was plainly evident in every feature and look. 

The young men [his boon companions] ... he enticed 

by various methods into evil practices. From among them 

he furnished false witnesses and forgers of signatures ;^ and 

he taught? them all to regard with equal unconcern property 

1 To any rascal who needed such assistance. 


and danger. At length when he had stripped them of all 
character and shame he led them to other and greater 
iniquities. When there was no ready motive for crime, he 
nevertheless stirred them up to murder quite inoffensive 
persons, just as if they had injured him, lest their hand or 
heart should grow torpid for want of employment. 

Trusting to such confederates and comrades, and knowing 
that the load of debt was everywhere great, and that the 
veterans of Sulla, having spent their [bountyj money too 
freely, now were longing for a civil war, remembering their 
spoils and former victory, Catiline accordingly formed the 
design of overthrowing the government. 

49. The Eaelt Career 01- Julius C^sar 

Suetonius, " Life of Julius Caesar," I-XIX. Bohn Translation 

CiBsar was born in 100 B.C. The story of his boyhood and 
young manhood is known to us mainly through the biography here 
quoted, and through a similar biography by Plutarch. On the 
whole, Suetonius seems to be the better informed. It is needless 
to comment on the value of every authentic incident illustrating 
the education and character of the man who was, on the whole, 
the greatest personage produced by the Grreco-Roman world. 

Julius Csesar the " Divine " ^ lost his father when he was 
in the sixteenth year of his age, and the next year, when 
he was named as Flamen Dialis [high priest of Jupiter], he 
repudiated Cossutia, who was very wealthy — though her 
family was only of the equestrian order — and to whom he 
had been betrothed when he was a mere boy. He then 
wedded Cornelia, the daughter of Cinna, [the famous Cinna] 
who was four times Consul, and by her he shortly afterwards 
had a daughter named Julia. He resisted the efforts of the 
dictator Sulla to get him to divorce Cornelia, and suffered 
the penalty of being stripped of his priestly office, his wife's 
iHe was enrolled among the gods after his death. 


dowry, and his own patrimonial estates. Since he was iden- 
tified with the adverse [anti-Sullan] faction, he was com- 
pelled to leave Rome. 

At last he got a pardon through the good offices of the 
Vestal Virgins and of Mamercus iEmilius and Aurelius 
Cotta, his near kinsmen. We are assured that when Sulla, 
having withstood for a while the entreaties of his own 
best friends, men of high rank, at last gave way to their 
importunity [in Caesar's behalf], he exclaimed, — whether 
by divine impulse or shrewd conjecture, — 

" Your suit is granted, and you can take him among you ; 
but know," he added, " that this man for whose safety you 
are so very anxious, will some day or other, be the ruin of 
the party of the nobility, in defense whereof you have 
leagued with me ! for in this one Oaasar you will find many 
Mariuses." [For a while he served in Bithynia and Cilicia 
on governmental and military service. While on his way 
to Ehodes to study rhetoric] he was taken prisoner by 
pirates near the isle of Pharmacusa [near Miletus], and 
detained by them — to his great wrath — for nearly forty 
days, his only attendants being a physician and two body 
servants. Por he had at once sent his other servants and 
traveling companions to raise his ransom money. Fifty 
talents [$60,000] were paid, and he was landed on the 
coast. Whereupon he collected some ships and promptly 
put to sea after the pirates, captured them, and inflicted on 
them the punishment that he had so often threatened them 
[as] in jest.^ 

His First Public Offices 

During his qusestorship [at Rome] he pronounced funeral 
orations from the rostra, according to custom, — in praise of 
his aunt Julia and his wife, Cornelia. In the panegyric 
upon his aunt he gives the following account of her own 

1 Crucifixion. 


and his father's genealogy on both sides : " My aunt Julia 
derived her descent by her mother from a race of kings ; 
and by her father from the Immortal Gods. For the Marcii 
Reges, her mother's family, deduce their pedigree from 
Ancus Marcius, and the Julii, her father's, from Venus ; of 
■which stock we are a branch. We therefore unite in our 
descent the sacred majesty of kings, the chiefest among 
men, and the divine majesty of gods, to whom kings them- 
selves are subject." 

[While he was serving in Spain as proquaestor] at Gades, 
on seeing a statue of Alexander the Great in the temple of 
Hercules he sighed deeply, as if weary of his sluggish life 
— as having wrought nothing memorable at an age at which 
Alexander had already conquered the world.' . . . 

While he was .iEdile at Rome he not only embellished the 
comitium and the rest of the Forum and the adjoining basili- 
cas, but adorned the Capitol also with temporary piazzas — 
built in order to display for the popular amusement, a part of 
his vast collections.^ He entertained the people both by him- 
self and along with his colleagues — with wild beast hunts, 
and with games. On this account he obtained the whole 
credit of the expense to which they had jointly contributed, 
insomuch that his colleague, Marcus Bibulus, could not 
forbear remarking that he was treated in the manner of Pol- 
lux. For as the temple erected in the Forum to the " Two 
Brothers " went by the name of Castor alone, so his and 
Csesar's joint munificence was imputed to the latter only. 

How he acted as Praetor 

[He next was elected praetor, and he now boldly attacked 
the noble party and was nearly murdered for his alleged 
sympathies with Catiline. He was fairly embarked among 

1 Alexander died at only thirty-three. 

* Probably of Greek paintings, statues, etc. 


the anti-aristocrats and while in this office] he proved him- 
self a most resolute supporter of Csecilius Metellus, tribune 
of the Plebs, who, despite all opposition from his col- 
leagues, had proposed some laws of " violent tendency," ' 
until they both [Metellus and Caesar] were dismissed from 
office by a vote of the Senate.^ Cassar ventured, however, to 
retain his post and continue in the administration of justice 
[as praetor]: but finding that preparations were being made 
to obstruct him by force of arms, he dismissed the lictors, 
threw off his [magistrate's] robe, and betook himself pri- 
vately to his own house, with the resolution to be quiet in a 
time so unfavorable to his interests. He likewise pacified 
the mob which two days afterward flocked about him, and 
in a riotous manner made a voluntary tender of their assist- 
ance in the vindication of his honor. This all happening 
contrary to expectation, the Senate, meeting in haste on ac- 
count of the tumult, gave him its thanks through some 
leading members of the house, and sending for him, after 
highly commending his conduct, canceled its former vote, 
and restored him to his office. 

How he was refused a Triumph 

At the expiration of his praetorship he obtained by lot 
the province of Farther Spain, and pacified his creditors, 
who were detaining him, by finding sureties for his debts.^ 
Contrary to both law and custom, he took his departure be- 
fore the usual equipage and outfit [for a governor] were 
provided. It is uncertain whether this haste rose from the 
fear of an impeachment, with which he was threatened at 

1 Among others to recall Porapey from his command in Asia. 

^ Probably a very illegal act for the Senate. 

" According to Plutarch, the great millionaire Crassus went surety for 
him. His debts were so great that he is alleged to have declared he was 
" needing 25,000,000 ses. [.$1,000,000] to be worth nothing at all." (Ap" 
plan's Civil War, book II, chap. 2.) Practically all Roman politicians of 
the day were terribly in debt. 


the expiration of his former office, or his anxiety to lose no 
time in relieving the [Roman] allies, who implored him to 
come to their aid. He had no sooner established tranquillity 
in the province than, without waiting for the arrival of a 
successor, he returned to Rome, with equal haste, to sue 
for a triumph ' and the consulship. The day of election, 
however, being already fixed by proclamation, he could not 
be legally admitted as a candidate, unless he entered the 
city as a private person.^ In this emergency he asked a 
suspension in his favor of the law [governing the case] : 
but such an indulgence was strongly opposed — and he 
found himself forced to abandon all thoughts of a triumph, 
lest he be disappointed in the consulship. 

[He therefore made the aUianae with Pompey and Orassus, 
known as the " First Triumvirate," as consul passed many laws 
displeasing to the aristocracy, and got himself appointed proconsul 
of Gaul, with a powerful army.] 

iHe had won some considerable victories over the tribes in western 

^ And so gave up his generalship and claim to a triumph. 


The Empire was inevitable unless Republican Rome was capable 
of reforming herself, or the Roman power should cease to live. It 
was, however, beyond the ability of any statesman to make the 
Republic able to grapple with the responsibilities of a great 
imperial system ; and Julius Osesar neither could nor would 
perpetuate the old conditions of chaos and misrule. If he had 
been allowed to round out a normal span of life and execute his 
complete policy, there is little doubt that we would have found the 
world under a highly articulated centralized monarchy. His assas- 
sination taught his cautious ssucessor, Octavian (or, to use his later 
title, Augustus), that while monarchy was unavoidable, it must be 
monarchy so disguised and hedged in by ostentatious safeguards 
as not to trample very wantonly on Roman public opinion. The 
result was the device of the "Principate" — the leadership of the 
state by a " First Citizen " ; and the bestowal of abundant honor 
and apparent responsibility upon the Senate, which was to share 
the administration with the Princeps, i.e. the establishment of 
that dual sway of the Empire, which modem scholars call the 

It took three centuries for the system of Augustus to break 
down, when it was at length replaced by the unveiled despotism 
of Diocletian ; although within less than a century after Augustus's 
death, with the reign of Domitian (died 96 A.D.), the pretenses of 
the Principate had almost ceased to impose upon any thinking man. 
Taken in their entirety, considering the multitude of human beings 
their actions affected, considering how many of their institutions 
remained even after Diocletian, and how many of the things which 
began with the Empire actually affect the life and thought of 
to-day, it is fair to assert that Julius Osesar and Augustus were 
among the most influential personages in all secular history. Nor 



can their part in the founding of Christianity be ignored. With- 
out a Roman Empire, with its removal of national boundaries, and 
with its law, peace, relative good government, Grseco-Latin civili- 
zation and speech, and similar unifying influences, it is hard to see 
how Christianity could ever have developed into a world religion. 
Imagine St. Paul compelled to carry abroad his " Gospel to the 
Gentiles," when every mountain valley or island had been held by 
a jealous king or oligarchy, excluding aU strangers and foreign 
ideas ; and zealously suppressing as treason any trifling divergence 
from the oultus of the local gods ! The persecution the Christians 
presently endured from the Roman government was a mere drop 
in the bucket compared with such a disadvantage. 

To Julius Caesar it was given to be an unflinching destroyer of insti- 
tutions which had long been worthy of destruction ; to Augustus to be 
one of the most significantly constructive statesmen in universal his- 
tory. Fortunately our literary records for both of them are fairly 
complete. Julius Csesar was often his own literary advocate ; Au- 
gustus has left us an autobiographal statement in a stately inscrip- 
tion ; while Suetonius, Plutarch, Appian, and others each contribute 
part of the story. Once more the difiioulty is to select that which 
is best told by the ancient writers themselves, and to omit what is 
as well told by the pens of moderns. 

50. Cjesae's Account of how he was fokced to take 
UP Arms 

Caesar, "Civil War," book I, chaps. 1-6. Bohn Translation 

Whether Csesar or his enemies were to blame when (in Janu- 
ary, 49 B.C.) he " crossed the Rubicon,'' is still debated. In the 
main, opinion is on Caesar's side, holding: (1) that his enemies 
tried to force him to quit his province before the time permitted 
by law ; (2) that if he had come back to Rome as an unarmed 
man, as they intended, his life would have been in imminent danger. 
Trusting foolishly for their military support to Pompey, — who 
now had deserted his one-time ally, Csesar, — the great nobles 
precipitated the civil war which Csesar seems to have tried hard 
to prevent. His own story of the matter will have perennial 


When Caesar's letter [with conciliatory proposals] was 
delivered to the consuls, it was with great difficulty, and a 
hard struggle by the tribunes [on Caesar's side], that they 
were prevailed upon to suffer it to be read in the Senate; 
the tribunes, however, could not prevail that any question 
should be put to the Senate on the subject of the letter. 
The consuls put the question on " The Regulation of the 
State." Lucius Lentulus [one of them] promised that "he 
would not fail the Senate and the Republic if they declared 
their sentiments resolutely and boldly, but if they turned 
their regard to Caesar and courted his favor, as formerly, he 
would strike out on his own plan, and not truckle to the 
authority of the Senate ; and [added] that he had a way of 
again getting Caesar's favor and friendship." Scipio 
talked in the same strain, that " it was Pompey's intention 
not to abandon the Republic if the Senate would support 
him ; but if they should hesitate and act without energy, 
they would in vain implore his aid, if ever they should 
need it later." 

How the Moderates in the Senate were Silenced 

This speech of Scipio's — as the Senate was convened 
inside the city, and Pompey was near at hand — seemed to 
fall from Pompey's own lips.' Some spoke with a certain 
moderation, as Marcellus first, who said at the outset that 
"the question ought not thus to be put before the Senate 
until levies had been made through Italy, and armies raised 
under whose protection the Senate might freely and safely 
vote what resolutions seemed proper" ; [and two other Sen- 
ators spoke in like vein]. They were all harshly rebuked 
by Lentulus, who peremptorily refused to put their motions. 
Marcellus, overawed by his reproofs, retracted his opinion. 
Thus most of the Senate, intimidated by the expressions of 
the consul, by the fears of an army close at hand, and the 

1 This Metellus Scipio was the father-in-law of Pompey. 


threats of Pompey's friends, unwillingly and reluctantly 
adopted Seipio's opinion, that Caesar should disband his 
army by a certain day, and should he not do so, he should 
be considered as a public enemy. Marcus Antouius and 
Quintus Cassius, tribunes of the people, here announced 
their vetoes. At once the question was raised as to the 
validity of their vetoes. Violent opinions were uttered. 
Whoever spoke with the greatest bitterness and cruelty 
was most loudly applauded by Caesar's enemies. 

The Senate having broken up in the evening, all who be- 
longed to that body were summoned by Pompey. He com- 
mended the bold talkers and secured their votes for the next 
day ; the more moderate he reproved and excited against 
Caesar. Many veterans from all parts, who had served in 
Pompey's armies, were invited to his standard by the hopes 
of rewards and promotions. Several officers of the two 
legions that had been delivered up by Caesar [to Pompey] 
were sent for. The city and assembly place were crowded 
with tribunes, centurions, and veterans. All the consul's 
friends, all Pompey's connections, all those who bore any 
old grudge against Caesar, were forced into the Senate House. 
By their concourse and asseverations the timid were awed, 
the irresolute coniirmed, and the actual majority deprived of 
the power to speak their minds freely. 

Tlie Violent Party Prevails 

Lucius Piso, the censor, offered to go to Caesar, and so did 
Lucius Eoscius, the praetor, to tell him of how matters stood, 
and they asked only six days to dispatch their business. 
Also some opinions were expressed that commissioners 
should be sent to Caesar to acquaint him with the Senate's 
pleasure; [but] all these proposals were rejected, and all 
were opposed in the harangues of the consul [Lentulus], 
Scipio, and Cato. 

49 B.C.] CiESAR DRIVEN TO WAR . 147 

An old enmity against Csesar and chagrin at a [former] 
defeat goaded on Cato. Lentalus was spurred by the magni- 
tude of his debts, and the hopes of having the government 
of an army and provinces, and by the presents which he ex- 
pected from such princes as should get the title of " Friends 
of the Roman People." He boasted among his friends that, 
" He would be a second Sulla, and to him the supreme power 
would return." Like hopes of a province and armies which 
he expected to share with Pompey ou account of his [mar- 
riage] connection prompted Scipio. Besides that, he had 
the fear of being called to trial ; and he was moved too by 
the adulation and an ostentatious display of himself and his 
friends in power, who at that time had great influence in 
the administration and the law courts. 

As for Pompey, he was stirred up by Csesar's enemies, 
and was also unwilling that any man should be his equal in 
public dignity ; consequently, he was now utterly cut off 
from Caesar's friendship. He had reconciled himself with 
their common enemies, though most of these enemies he 
had himself brought upon Csesar, while the latter was his 
ally. Then, too, he was chagrined at the disgrace he had 
incurred by converting two legions from their expedition 
through Asia and Syria to increase his own power. He 
was, therefore, anxious for war. 

The Votes are passed against Goesar 

Under these circumstances everything was done in a 
hasty and disorderly manner, and no time was given to 
Caesar's kinsmen to inform him of what was happening, 
nor liberty to the tribunes of the plebs to set forth the peril 
they were exposed to, or even to retain the last privilege 
which Sulla had left them, of using their vetoes. On the 
seventh day [of the new year] they were obliged to think 
of their personal safety, something that the most violent 


plebeian tribunes had not been accustomed to be troubled 
about, or to fear being brought to book for their actions 
before the eighth month. Recourse was had to that extreme 
and final decree of the Senate, — though never had it been 
resorted to by daring innovators save when the city was in 
peril of incendiarism, or public safety was despaired of, — • 
" That the Consuls, Praetors, and Plebeian Tribunes, and 
Proconsuls in the City should see to it that the state suffers 
no hurt."' These decrees were dated the 8th of January, 
therefore, in the first five days on which the Senate could 
meet, from the day on which Lentulus entered into his 
consulate, the two [intervening] days of election excepted, 
the severest and most virulent decrees were passed against 
Caesar's government, and against those most illustrious 
dignitaries — the Plebeian Tribunes. The latter at once 
made their escape from the city and withdrew to Caesar, 
who was then at Ravenna awaiting an answer to his moder- 
ate demands, [hoping that] matters could be brought to a 
peaceful termination by any act of justice on the part of his 

During the next days the Senate was convened outside 
the city. Pompey repeated the same things which he had 
declared through Scipio. He applauded the courage and 
firmness of the Senate, acquainted them with his force, and 
told them that he had ten legions ready ; besides he was in- 
formed and assured that Caesar's soldiers were disaffected, 
and he could not persuade them to defend or even to follow 
him. [The Senate then voted all kinds of military levies 
and money for Pompey. The provinces were distributed 
among Caesar's enemies in a most headlong and disorderly 
manner.] Levies were made throughout Italy, arms de- 
manded and money exacted from the municipal towns, and 
violently taken from the temples. . . . 

[When the news came to Caesar he appealed to his army, 
1 This " final decree " practically established martial law. 


especially dwelling on the unprecedented wrongs done the 
tribunes, and the troops cried out they would follow him.] 

51. The Ceossing of the Eubicon 

Suetonius, " Life of Julius Caesar," chaps. 31-33. Bohn Translation 

The famous story of the " crossing of the Rubicon " by CiBsar 
in January, 49 B.C., has been attacked by modern historians. 
They argue that it is unlikely that a man like Caesar would not 
have known his own mind when things came to a grave issue. Yet 
the story is one the student is fain to believe ; and there seems 
nothing improbable in assuming that even Csesar was glad to 
weigh the issues for the last time before forcing a civil war. 

When the news came [to Eavenna, where Caesar was stay- 
ing] that the interposition of the tribunes in his favor had 
been utterly rejected, and that they themselves had fled 
Eome, he immediately sent forward some cohorts, yet 
secretly, to prevent any suspicion of his plan ; and to keep 
up appearances, he attended the public games and examined 
the model of a fencing school which he proposed building, 
then — as usual — sat down to table with a large company 
of friends. 

However, after sunset some mules from a near-by mill 
were put in his carriage, and he set forward on his journey 
as privately as possible, and with an exceedingly scanty 
retinue. The lights went out. He lost his way and wan- 
dered about a long time — till at last, by help of a guide, 
whom he discovered towards daybreak, he proceeded on 
foot , through some narrow paths, and again reached the 
road. Coming up with his troops on the banks of the Eubi- 
con, which was the frontier of his province,^ he halted for 
a while, and revolving in his mind the importance of the 
step he meditated, he turned to those about him, saying: 

lA very ancient law forbade any general to cross tlie Rubicon into 
Italy proper with his troops under arms. ' 


" Still we can retreat ! But once let us pass yon little 
bridge, — and nought is left but to fight it out with arms ! " 

Even as he hesitated this incident occurred. A man of 
strikingly noble mien and graceful aspect appeared close at 
hand, and played upon a pipe. To hear him not merely 
some shepherds, but soldiers too came flocking from their 
posts, and amongst them some trumpeters. He snatched a 
trumpet from one of them and ran to the river; then 
sounding the " Advance ! " with a piercing blast he crossed 
to the other side. At this Caesar cried out, "Let us go 
where the omens of the Gods and the crimes of our enemies 
summon us ! the die is now cast ! " 

Accordingly he marched his army over the river ; [then] 
he showed them the tribunes of the Plebs, who on being 
driven from Rome had come to meet him, and in the 
presence of that assembly, called on the troops to pledge 
him their fidelity ; tears springing to his eyes [as he spoke] 
and his garments rent from his bosom. 

[The soldiery showed remarkable enthusiasm in his cause ; the 
Pompeian resistance collapsed ; and in a surprisingly short time 
Csesar was master of Italy.] 

62. Cesar's Reforms while Dictator 
Suetonius, " Life of Julius Caesar," chaps. 40-44. Bohn Translation 

Less than four years passed between the great victory of Caesar 
at Pharsalia (48 B.C.) to his murder (44 B.C.). During most of 
this time he was busy with wars in Egypt, Asia Minor, Africa, 
and Spain, but in the interval left him for peaceful business he 
displayed a marvelous activity in executing every kind of reform. 
It is hardly too much to imagine that if he had lived twenty years 
longer, he would have changed the whole face of ancient society. 

Turning his attention to the regulation of the Republic, 
he corrected the calendar^ which had for some time been 

1 In this task Cassar was aided by the learned GrBBCo-Egyptiau 


direfully confused through the unwarrantable liberty which 
the pontiffs had taken in the matter of intercalation.^ To 
such a height had this abuse proceeded that neither the 
festivals designed for the harvest fell in the summer, nor 
those for the vintage fell in autumn. He accommodated the 
year to the course of the sun, ordaining that in the future 
it should consist of 365 days ■without any intercalary month ; 
and that every fourth year an extra day should be inserted. 

He filled up the vacancies in the Senate by advancing 
divers plebeians to the rank of patricians, and also he 
increased the number of praetors, aediles, quaestors, and 
lesser magistrates. The method he used in those cases was 
to recommend such persons as he had pitched upon, by 
notices distributed among the several [Roman] tribes, 
thus, "Caesar Dictator to such a tribe [name given], I 
recommend to you — [the persons are named], that by 
the favor of your votes, they may obtain the honors which 
they are seeking." He likewise admitted to oflBce the 
sons of those who had been proscribed. 

The trial of lawsuits he restricted to the two orders 
of judges, — the equestrian and the senatorial, — excluding 
the " tribunes of the treasury " ' who had formerly made 
up a third class. The revised census of the people he 
ordered to be taken neither in the usual manner or place, 
but street by street, by the leading inhabitants of the 
several quarters of the city ; and he reduced the number 
of those who received corn at the public cost * from 320,000 
to 120,000. To prevent any tumults on account of the 
census, he ordered that the praetor should every year fill 
up by lot the vacancies occasioned by death, from those 
who were not enrolled for the corn doles. 

1 The old calendar was so unscientific it was necessary to insert arbi- 
trarily extra months to make the years of something like equal length. 

2 The exact nature of these "tribunes of the treasury" is very 

' A prolific source of pauperism and general abuse. 


After having distributed 80,000 citizens among foreign 
colonies,^ he enacted, — to halt the drain on the population, 

— that no freeman of the city, above the age of twenty or 
under forty, who was not in the army, should absent him- 
self from Italy for more than three years running ; also no 
Senator's son was to go abroad, save in the retinue of some 
high officer. As to those who tended flocks and herds [he 
required] that no less than one third of their free-born 
shepherds should be youths.^ He bestowed on all phy- 
sicians and professors of liberal arts the "freedom of the 
city " in order to fix them [at Rome] and induce others to 
settle there. 

With respect to debts he disappointed the expectation 
that was generally entertained, that they would be totally 
canceled. He ordered that debtors should satisfy their 
creditors according to the value of their estates, at the rate 
at which they were purchased before the Civil War began. 
However, from the debt was to be deducted everything that 
had been paid as interest, either in money or in bonds; 
as a result of this about one fourth of the [average] debt 
was lost. He dissolved all the guilds save such as were of 
ancient foundation.^ Crimes [under him] were punished 
with extreme severity ; and since the rich were more prone 
to commit them, because they were [hitherto] liable to 
banishment without loss of property, he stripped murderers 

— as Cicero remarks — of their whole estates, and other 
offenders of a half. 

He was extremely constant and strict in the administra- 
tion of justice. He expelled from the Senate such members 
as had been convicted of bribery. He dissolved the mar- 
riage of a man of praetorian rank who had married a lady 

1 Mostly at Corinth and Carthage, which cities he rebuilt. 

2 The object was to " keep the young men on the farm," to prevent them 
from flocking to Rome. 

8 The guilds were probably dangerous centers of political agitation. 


two days after her divorce from a former husband, although 
there was no suspicion of any illicit [previous] connection. 
He imposed custom duties on foreign goods.^ The use of 
litters for traveling, of purple robes, and of jewels he 
allowed only to persons of a certain age and rank, and on 
particular days. He enforced rigid execution of the sump- 
tuary laws, placing oflcers about the markets to seize upon 
all meats offered for sale contrary to the rules, and to bring 
them to him. Sometimes he actually sent his lictors and 
soldiers to carry away such viands as had escaped the 
notice of his officers, even when they were upon the table. 

His thoughts were now fully employed frgm day to day 
in a great variety of projects, for the beautifying and im- 
provement of Rome, as well as for guarding and extending 
the bounds of the Empire. [He planned a magnificent 
temple of Mars, and also a splendid theater near to the Tar- 
peian Rock.] He proposed to reduce the civil law to a rea- 
sonable compass, and out of that immense and undigested 
mass of statutes to abridge the best and most necessary 
parts into a few books ; also to make as large a collection 
of books as possible in the Greek and Latin languages, for 
the public use — the province of providing and putting them 
in proper order being assigned to [the noted savant] Marcus 

Then too he intended to drain the Pontine marshes, to 
cut a channel for the discharge of the waters of the Fucine 
lake, to form a road from the Upper Sea [Adriatic] through 
the ridge of the Apennines, to make a canal through the 
Isthmus of Corinth, to drive the Dacians — who had over- 
run Pontus and Thrace, within their proper limits, and then 
to make war upon the Parthians, [marching] through Lesser 
Armenia, but not risking a general engagement [with the 
Parthians] until he had made some trial of their prowess in 

1 Probably to discourage outlandish luxuries, rather than to afford 
" protection " to home wares. 


war. But in the midst of all his undertakings and projects 
he was carried off by death. 

53. The Funeral of Cjbsae 

Appian, "Civil Wars," book 11,143-148. White's Translation 

How after the murder of Julius Caesar (15th of March, 44 B.C.) 
Marcus Antonius (" Mark Antony "), his friend, and in virtue of 
the consulship, chief magistrate, roused the Roman multitude 
against the assassins by his famous funeral oration is known 
mainly through the incomparable version given by Shakespeare. 
The account by Appian which Shakespeare adapted differs in 
some particulars from its great imitation. For this reason, as 
well as for its inherent historic value, the narrative of Appian 
possesses high interest. It is, of course, far less dramatic, but it is 
more nearly history. 

Caesar's will was now produced and the people ordered 
that it be read at once. In it Octavian, his sister's grand- 
son, was adopted by Caesar. His gardens were given to the 
people as a place of recreation, and to every Roman living 
in the city, he gave 75 Attic drachmas [about f 13]. The 
people too were stirred to anger when they saw the will of 
this lover of his country, whom they had before heard 
accused of tyranny. Most of all did it seem pitiful to them 
that Decimus Brutus, one of the murderers, should have 
been named by him for adoption in the second degree ; for 
it was usual for the Romans to name alternate heirs in case 
of the failure of the first. 

When Piso brought Caesar's body into the Forum a count- 
less multitude ran together with arms to guard it, and with 
acclamations and magnificent display placed it on the 
rostra. Wailing and lamentation were renewed for a long 
time ; the armed men clashed their shields. Antony, seeing 
how things were going, did not abandon his purpose, but 
having been chosen to deliver the funeral oration, as a con- 


sul for a consul, as a friend for a friend, a relative for a 
relative (he was akin to Csesar on the mother's side), 
resumed his artful design, and spoke thus : ^ 

Antony's Oration 

" It is not fitting, fellow citizens, that the funeral oration 
of so great a man should be pronounced by me alone, but 
rather by his whole country. The decrees which all of us, 
in equal admiration for his merit, voted to him while he 
was alive — Senate and People acting together — I will read, 
so that I may voice your sentiments rather than merely 

Then he began to read with a severe and gloomy counte- 
nance; pronouncing each sentence distinctly, and dwelling 
especially on those decrees which declared Caesar to be 
"superhuman, sacred and inviolable," and which named 
him " The Father of his Country," or " The Benefactor," or 
" The Chieftain without a Peer." With each decree, Antony 
turned his face and his hand towards Caesar's corpse, illus- 
trating his discourse by his action, and at each appellation 
he added some brief remark full of grief and indignation ; 
as, for example, where the decree spoke of Csesar as " The 
Father of his Country," he added that this was a testimonial 
of his clemency ; and again, where he was made " Sacred 
and Inviolable," and that " everybody was to be held sacred 
and inviolate who should find refuge in him." 

" Nobody," said Antony, " who found refuge in him was 
harmed, but he, whom you declared sacred and inviolate was 
killed, although he did not extort these honors from you as 
a tyrant, and did not even ask them. Most servile are we 
if we give such honors to the unworthy who do not ask 
for them. But you, faithful citizens, vindicate us from 

1 The Romans had fairly good shorthand reporters ; and even if these 
were not present, we may imagine Appiau followed notes giving substan- 
tially what Antonius said. 


this charge of servility by paying such honors as you now 
pay to the dead." 

Antony resumed his reading, and recited the oaths by 
which all were pledged to guard Caesar and Caesar's body 
with all their strength, and all were devoted to perdition 
who should not avenge him in any conspiracy. Here lifting 
up his voice, and extending his hand toward the Capitol, he 
exclaimed, "Jupiter, Guardian of this City, and ye other 
gods, I stand here ready to avenge him as I have sworn and 
vowed, but since those that are of equal rank with me have 
considered the decree of amnesty* beneficial, I pray that 
it may prove so." 

A commotion arose among the Senators in consequence of 
this exclamation which seemed to have special reference to 
them. So Antony quieted them again and recanted, saying, 
" To me, fellow citizens, this deed seems to be not the work 
of human beings, but of some evil spirit. It becomes us to 
consider the present rather than the past. Let us then con- 
duct this sacred one to the abode of the blest, chanting our 
wonted hymn of lamentation for him." 

Having thus spoken, he gathered up his garments like a 
man inspired, girded himself so that he might have free use 
of his hands, took his position in front of the bier, as in a 
play, bending down to it, and rising again, and sang first as 
to a celestial deity. . . . [He declaimed on Caesar's " god- 
like origin," victories, and spoils he had brought to E-ome] 
exclaiming, "Thou alone hast come forth unvanquished 
from all the battles thou hast fought ! Thou alone hast 
avenged thy country of the outrages put upon it 300 years 
ago [by the Gauls], bringing to their knees the savage 

1 The Senate shortly after the murder had declared a general amnesty 
on the motion of Cicero. The Senators had considered declaring Csesar a 
tyrant, but as this would have annulled all his appointments they pre- 
ferred this compromise because some of the chief conspirators had been 
assigned by Cajsar to provinces and were loath to give up the prospect of 


tribes, the only ones that ever broke into and burned 

Carried away by extreme passion, he uncovered the body 
of Caesar, lifted his robe on the top of a spear, and shook it 
aloft, pierced with the dagger thrusts, and red with the 
Dictator's blood. Whereupon the people, like a [theatric] 
chorus, mourned with him in a most doleful manner, and 
[then] from sorrow became again filled with anger. 

The People break out in Fury 

[After more lamentations] the people could stand it no 
longer. It seemed to them monstrous that all the murderers, 
who, save Decimus Brutus, had been made prisoners while 
siding with Pompey, and who, instead of being punished, 
had been advanced by Caesar to the magistracies of Eome, 
and to the command of provinces and armies, should have 
conspired against him, and that Decimus should have been 
deemed by him worthy of adoption as a son. 

While they were in this temper, and were already nigh to 
violence, some one raised above the bier an image of Caesar 
himself, wrought of wax. As for the actual body, since it 
lay on its back upon the couch, it could not be seen. The 
image was turned around and around by a mechanical device, 
showing the twenty-three wounds on all parts of the body 
and the face, — which gave him a shocking appearance. 
The people could no longer bear the pitiful sight presented 
to them. They groaned, and girding themselves, they 
burned the Senate chamber, where Caesar had been slain, 
and ran hither and thither searching for the murderers, who 
had fled some time previously. 

They were so mad with rage and grief, that, like wild 
beasts, they tore in pieces the tribune Cinna on account of 
the similarity of his name to the praetor Cinna, who had 
made a speech against Caesar, not waiting to hear any expla- 


nation about the similarity of name, — so that no part of 
him was ever found for burial. They carried fire to the 
houses of the other murderers, but the servants bravely 
fought them off, and the neighbors begged them to .desist. 
So the people abstained from using fire, but threatened to 
come back with arms on the following day. 

Ccesar's Funeral Pyre 

The murderers fled from the city secretly. The people 
returned to Caesar's bier, and bore it as something conse- 
crated to the Capitol in order to bury it in the temple and 
place it among the gods. Being prevented from so doing by 
the priests, they placed it again in the Forum, where of old 
had stood the palace of the kings of Rome. There they 
collected together sticks of wood and benches, of which 
there were many in the Forum, and anything else that they 
could find of this sort, for a funeral pile, throwing on it the 
adornments of the procession, some of which were very 
costly. Some of them cast their own crowns upon it and 
many military gifts.' Then they set fire to it, and the entire 
people remained by the funeral pile throughout the night. 

There an altar was at first erected, but now stands [on the 
spot] the Temple of Caesar himself, for he was deemed worthy 
of divine honors ; since Octavius, his adoptive son, who took 
the name of Caesar, and following in his footsteps in polit- 
ical policy, greatly strengthened the government founded 
by Caesar, [which government] remains to this day, — and 
decreed divine honors to his " fathers." From this example 
the Romans now pay like honors to each emperor at his 
death, if he has not reigned in a tyrannical manner or 
made himself odious, although at first they could not bear 
to call them kings while living." 

iThe rewfirds of their valor. 

a Thus Augustus, Vespasian, and Trajan were " deified," but not Tiberius 
or Nero. 


54. The Personal Traits of Julius Cjesak 

Suetonius, " Life of Julius Csesar," chaps. 45-57, 63, 72-73. Bohn 

Thauks to Suetonius we gain a fairly complete view of the per- 
sonal traits of the greatest man produced by Antiquity. Con- 
sidered as a public man, Caesar impresses us by his marvelous 
versatility — orator, politician, constructive statesman, and general ; 
as a private individual he seems to have been a charming and 
genial gentleman, by no means impeccable, even according to the 
lax standards of his age, but a man who could command warm 
and abiding friendship. 

He was tall, of a fair complexion, round limbed, rather full 
faced, with eyes black and piercing ; he enjoyed excellent 
health except toward the close of his life when he was sub- 
ject to sudden fainting fits and disturbances in his sleep. He 
was likewise twice seized with the " falling sickness," while 
engaged in active service. He was extremely nice in the care 
of his person, and kept the hair of his head closely cut and 
had his face smoothly shaved. His baldness gave him much 
uneasiness, having often found himself on that score ex- 
posed to the jibes of his enemies. He used therefore to 
brush forward the hair from the crown of his head, and of 
all the honors conferred on him by the Senate and People, 
there was none which he either accepted or used with 
greater pleasure than the right of wearing constantly a 
laurel crown. It is said that he was particular in his dress, 
for he wore the latus clavus^ with fringes about the wrists, 
and always had it girded about him, but rather loosely. 

He first inhabited a small house in the Suburra,^ but after 
his advancement to the office of Pontiff, he occupied a palace 
belonging to the government on the Via Sacra. He liked 

1 Toga with a broad strip of purple, such as only senators were allowed 
to wear. 

2 One of the noisiest and least select quarters in Rome. 


his residence to be elegant and his entertainments sump- 
tuous. He pulled down entirely a villa near the grove of 
Aricia, which he built from the foundation, and finished at 
heavy cost, because it did not meet his taste, although at 
that time he had only limited means, and was in debt. 
Also he used to carry about on his expeditions tesselated 
and marble slabs for the floor of his tent. 

It is said he actually invaded Britain in hopes of finding 
pearls there. He was accustomed to compare the size of 
these and ascertain their weight merely by poising them in 
his hand. At any cost he would purchase gems, carved work, 
statues, and pictures, executed by eminent masters of an- 
tiquity. For young and handy slaves he would pay a price 
so extravagant that he forbade its being entered in his daily 
expense book. 

We are also told that in the provinces he constantly 
maintained two tables, one for the army oflcers and the 
local country gentleman, the other for Romans of the high- 
est rank and distinguished provincials. He was so very 
exact in the management of his domestic affairs that he 
once threw a baker into prison for serving him a finer sort 
of his bread than his guests. 

[He was a notable lady's man, and indulged in many 
intrigues ; he was especially intimate with Servilia, the 
mother of Marcus Brutus,]for whom he purchased in his 
first consulship ... a pearl which cost him 6,000,000 ses- 
terces [f 240,000], and in the Civil War, besides other pres- 
ents assigned to her — for a trifling consideration — some 
valuable farms that had been set up at public auction. 

It was confessed even by his enemies that in regard to 
wine he was abstemious. A remark is ascribed to Marcus 
Cato, that "Caesar was the only sober man amongst all those 
engaged in the design to subvert the government." 

In eloquence and warlike achievements he equaled, if he 
did not surpass, the greatest of men. After his prosecution 


of Dolabella he -was indisputably reckoned one of the most 
distinguished advocates. Cicei-o in recounting to Brutus the 
famous orators declares "he does not see that Caesar was in- 
ferior to any of them, and says " that he had an elegant, 
noble, and magnificent vein of eloquence." In his delivery 
Csesar is said to have had a shrill voice, and his action was 
animated, but not ungraceful. 

He was perfect in the use of arms, an accomplished rider, 
and able to endure fatigue beyond all belief. On a march 
he used to go at the head of his troops, sometimes on horse- 
back, but oftener on foot, with his head bare in all kinds of 
weather. He would travel post in a light carriage without 
baggage, at the rate of one hundred miles per day ; and if 
he was stopped by floods in the rivers, he swam across, or 
floated on skins inflated in the wind, so that he often antici- 
pated the tidings of his movements. Often he rallied his 
troops by his own personal exertions, stopping those who 
fled, keeping others in their ranks, and seizing men by the 
throat, turned them again towards the enemy,- although 
numbers [of his men] were [sometimes] so terrified that an 
eagle bearer ^ thus stopped made a thrust at him with the 
spearhead [on the eagle], and another on a like occasion 
left the standard in his hand. 

He always treated his friends with such kindness and 
good nature, that when Gains Oppius, in traveling with 
him through a forest, was suddenly taken ill, he resigned to 
him the only place there was to shelter them at night, and 
lay on the ground in the open air. The resentment he 
entertained towards any one was never so implacable but 
that he did not very Avillingly renounce it when opportunity 
offered [and various ins.tances are cited of how he forgave 
enemies and detractors, and worked for their interests after 

1 The eagle was the great standard of a legion. 


55. How Cleopatka bewitched Antony 

Plutarch, " Life of Mark Antony," chaps. XXV-XXIX 

The romance of Antony (more properly Antonius) and Cleo- 
patra was an event affecting the history of the world. Re- 
cently an attempt has been made to show that the element of 
genuine passion was largely absent — that it was a union founded 
mainly on mere political advantage. This seems very improbable. 
Antony was exactly the kind of a man to sacrifice his interests to 
a fierce and skillfully enkindled passion. If he had possessed the 
strength to resist the seductions of the Egyptian queen, very likely 
he could have undermined the power of Octavian, and become mas- 
ter of the world — changing the whole story of the Roman Empire. 

When making preparation for the Parthian war, Antony 
sent to command her to make her personal appearance in 
Cilicia, to answer an accusation, that she had given great 
assistance, in the late wars, to Cassius. Dellius, who was 
sent on this message, had no sooner seen her face, and re- 
marked her adroitness and subtlety in speech, but he felt 
convinced that Antony would not so much as think of giving 
any molestation to a woman like this ; on the contrary, she 
would be the first in favor with him. So he set himself at 
once to pay his court to the Egyptian, and gave her his ad- 
vice, " to go," in the Homeric style, to Cilicia, " in her best 
attire," and bade her fear nothing from Antony, the gentlest 
and kindest of soldiers. 

She had some faith in the words of Dellius, but more in 
her own attractions, which, having formerly recommended 
her to Csesar and the young Cnseus Pompey, she did not 
doubt might prove yet more successful with Antony. Their 
acquaintance was with her when a girl, young, and ignorant 
of the world, but she was to meet Antony in the time of life 
when women's beauty is most splendid, and their intellects 
are in full maturity.' She made great preparations for her 
1 She was then about twenty-eight years old. 


journey, of money, gifts, and ornaments of value, such as so 
wealthy a kingdom might afford, but she brought with her 
her surest hopes in her own magic arts and charms. 

She received several letters, both from Antony and from 
his friends, to summon her, but she took no account of these 
orders ; and at last, as if in mockery of them, she came sailing 
up the river Cydnus, in a barge with gilded stern and out- 
spread sails of purple, while oars of silver beat time to the 
music of flutes and fifes and harps. She herself lay all along, 
under a canopy of cloth of gold, dressed as Venus in a pic- 
ture, and beautiful young boys, like painted Cupids, stood on 
each side, to fan her. Her maids were dressed like Sea 
Nymphs and Graces, some steering at the rudder, some 
working at the ropes. The perfumes diffused themselves 
from the vessel to the shore, which was covered with 
multitudes, part following the galley up the river on either 
bank, part running out of the city to see the sight. The 
market place was quite emptied, and Antony at last was left 
alone sitting upon the tribunal ; while the word went through 
all the multitude, that Venus was come to feast with Bacchus 
for the common good of Asia. 

On her arrival, Antony sent to invite her to supper. She 
thought it fitter he should come to her ; so, willing to show 
his good humor and courtesy, he complied, and went. He 
found the preparations to receive him magnificent beyond 
expression, but nothing so admirable as the great number of 
lights ; for on a sudden there was let down altogether so 
great a number of branches with lights in them so ingeniously 
disposed, some in squares, and some in circles, that the 
whole thing was a spectacle that has seldom been equaled 
for beauty. 

The next day, Antony invited her to supper, and was very 
desirous to outdo her as well in magnificence as contrivance ; 
but he found he was altogether beaten in both, and was so 
well convinced of it, that he was himself the first to jest 


and mock at his poverty of wit, and his rustic awkwardness. 
She, perceiving that his raillery was broad and gross, and 
savored more of the soldier than the courtier, rejoined in the 
same taste, and fell into it at once, without any sort of 
reluctance or reserve. 

For her actual beauty, it is said, was not in itself so remark- 
able that none could be compared with her, or that no one 
could see her without being struck by it, but the contact of 
her presence, if you lived with her, was irresistible ; the at- 
traction of her person, joining with the charm of her 
conversation, and the character that attended all she said or 
did, was something bewitching. It was a pleasure merely to 
hear the sound of her voice, with which, like an instru- 
ment of many strings, she could pass from one language to 
another ; so that there were few of the barbarian nations 
that she answered by an interpreter; to most of them she 
spoke herself, as to the Ethiopians, Troglodytes, Hebrews, 
Arabians, Syrians, Medes, Parthians, and many others, whose 
language she had learnt ; which was all the more surprising, 
because most of the kings, her predecessors, scarcely gave 
themselves the trouble to acquire the Egyptian tongue, and 
several of them quite abandoned the Macedonian. 

Antony was so captivated by her, that while Fulvia his 
wife maintained his quarrels in Rome against Caesar by 
actual force of arms, and the Parthian troops, commanded 
byLabienus (the king's generals having made him command- 
er-in-chief), were assembled in Mesopotamia, and ready to 
enter Syria, he could yet suffer himself to be carried away 
by her to Alexandria, there to keep holiday, like a boy, in 
play and diversion, squandering and fooling away in enjoy- 
ment that most costly, as Antiphon says, of all valuables, 
time. They had a sort of company, to which they gave a 
particular name, calling it that of the "Inimitable Livers." 
The members entertained one another daily in turn, with an 
extravagance of expenditure beyond measure or belief. 


Philotas, a physician of Amphissa, who was at that time 
a student of medicine in Alexandria, used to tell my [Plu- 
tarch's] grandfather Lamprias, that, having some acquaint- 
ance with one of the royal cooks, he was invited by him, being 
a young man, to come and see the sumptuous preparations 
for supper. So he was taken into the kitchen, where he ad- 
mired the prodigious variety of all things ; but particularly, 
seeing eight wild boars roasting whole, says he, " Surely you 
have a great number of guests." The cook laughed at his 
simplicity, and told him there were not above twelve to sup, 
but that every dish was to be served up just roasted to a 
turn, and if any thing was but one minute ill timed, it was 
spoiled ; "And," said he, " maybe Antony will sup just now, 
maybe not this hour, maybe he will call for wine, or begin 
to talk, and will put it off. So that," he continued, " it is 
not one, but many suppers must be had in readiness, as it is 
impossible to guess at his hour." 

To return to Cleopatra; Plato admits four sorts of flat- 
tery, but she had a thousand. Were Antony serious or 
disposed to mirth, she had at any moment some new delight 
or charm to meet his wishes ; at every turn she was upon 
him, and let him escape her neither by day nor by night. 
She played at dice with him, drank with him, hunted with 
him ; and when he exercised in arms, she was there to see. 
At night she would go rambling with him to disturb and tor- 
ment people at their doors and windows, dressed like a serv- 
ant woman, for Antony also went in servant's disguise, and 
from these expeditions he often came home very scurvily 
answered, and sometimes even beaten severely, though most 
people guessed who it was. However, the Alexandrians in 
general liked it all well enough, and joined good humoredly 
and kindly in his frolic and play, saying they were much 
obliged to Antony for acting his tragic parts at Eome, and 
keeping his comedy for them. 

It would be trifling without end to be particular in his 


follies, but his fishing must not be forgotten. He went out 
one day to angle with Cleopatra, and, being so unfortunate 
as to catch nothing in the presence of his mistress, he gave 
secret orders to the fishermen to dive under water, and put 
fishes that had been already taken upon his hooks ; and 
these he drew so fast that the Egyptian perceived it. But, 
feigning great admiration, she told everybody how dexterous 
Antony was, and invited them next day to come and see 
him again. So, when a number of them had come op board 
the fishing boats, as soon as he had let down his hook, one 
of her servants was beforehand with his divers, and fixed 
upon his hook a salted fish from Pontus. Antony, feeling 
his line give, drew up the prey, and when, as may be im- 
agined, great laughter ensued, "Leave," said Cleopatra, 
" the fishing-rod, general, to us poor sovereigns of Pharos 
and Canopus ; your game is cities, provinces, and kingdoms." 

66. The Deeds op Augustus 

Extracts from the "Monumentum Ancyranum." Adapted from Univer- 
sity of Pennsylvania, " Historical Reprints," vol. 5, No. 1 

This is, perhaps, the most famous inscription left us by Anti- 
quity. It is inscribed on marble in a building which was a temple 
of Augustus in Ancyra, Asia Minor. The original of this document 
seems to have been set up in bronze before the great Emperor's 
mausoleum in Rome, and this is one of the copies distributed 
through the provinces. Only a fraction of the long inscription 
can be cited, and it is hard to abridge what is throughout of 
high historical value. It gives us what Augustus wished to have 
regarded as the leading glories of his reign, distorting and sup- 
pressing some facts, but adding much to our knowledge of others. 

Below is a copy of the deeds of the divine Augustus, by 
which he' subjected the whole world to the dominion of the 
Roman People, and of the sums of money he spent upon the 
Republic and the Roman People, even as they are graven 
on the two brazen columns which are set up in Rome. 



In my twentieth year ^^S^^tfiJ^^ acting on my own initia- 
tive and at my own charges, I raised an army wherewith I 
brought again liberty to the Eepublio oppressed by the 
dominance of a faction. Therefore did the Senate admit 
me to its own order by honorary decrees, in the consulship 
of Gains Pansa and Aulus Hirtius. At the same time they 
gave unto me rank among the consulars in the expressing 
of my opinion [in the Senate] ; ^ and they gave unto me the 
im/perium? It also voted that I, as propraetor; together 
with the consuls, should "see to it that the state suffered 
no harm." In the same year, too, when both consuls had 
fallen in battle, the people made me consul and triumvir 
for the reestablishing of the Republic. 

The men who killed my father ^/lsi^«yfh^^^^^^fti^ I drove 
into exile by strictly judicial process,' and then, when they 
took up arms against the Republic, twice I overcame them 
in battle.^ 

1 undertook civil and foreign wars both by land and by 
sea; as victor therein I showed mercy to all surviving 
[Roman] citizens. Foreign nations, that I could safely 
pardon, I preferred to spare rather than to destroy. About 
500,000 Roman citizens took the military oath of allegiance 
to me. Rather over 300,000 of these have I settled in colo- 
nies, or sent back to their home towns (municipia) when 
their term of service ran out; and to all of these I have 
given lands bought by me, or the money for farms — and 
this out of my private means. I have taken 600 [war] 
ships, besides those smaller than triremes. 

' He could speak in the Senate when the presiding officer summoned 
the ex-consuls to speak, i.e. among the first. 

2 In Augustus's case this amoiinted to confirming him in his exceptional 
command over an army raised by him without public authority. 

5 Augustus wants to pose as a close adherent to legal processes — not 
martial power. 

* Not actually true ; in the first battle at Philippi Augustus was 
worsted, though Antonius's hall of the army succeeded. 


Offices and Honors given to Augustus 

Twice have I had the lesser triumph [ovation] ; thrice 
the [full] curule triumph; twenty-one times have I been 
saluted as " Imperator." After that, when the Senate voted 
me many triumphs, I declined them. Also I often depos- 
ited the laurels in the Capitol, fulfilling the vows which I 
had made in battle. On account of the enterprises brought 
to a happy issue on land and sea by me, or by my legates, 
under my auspices, fifty-five times has the Senate decreed a 
thanksgiving unto the Immortal Gods. The number of 
days, too, on which thanksgiving was professed, fulfilling 
the Senate's decrees, was 890. Nine kings, or children of 
kings, have been led before my car in my triumphs. And 
when I wrote these words, thirteen times had I been consul, 
and for the thirty-seventh year was holding the tribunician 

The dictatorship which was offered me by the People and 
by the Senate, both when I was present and when I was 
absent, I did not accept. The annual and perpetual consul- 
ship I did not accept. 

Ten years in succession I was one of the " triumvirs for 
the reestablishing of the Republic." Up to the day that I 
wrote these words I have been princeps of the Senate forty 
years. I have been pontifex maximus, augur, member of the 
" College of XV for the Sacred Rites " [and of the other 
religious brotherhoods]. 

Augustus's Acts as Censor 

In my fifth consulship, by order of the People and the 
Senate, I increased the number of patricians. Three times 
I revised the Senate list. In my sixth consulship, with my 
colleague, Marcus Agrippa, I made a census of the People. 
[By it] the number of Roman citizens was 4,063,000. Again 
in the consulship of Gains Censorinus and Gaius Asiuus 


[8 B.C.] I [took the census, when] the number of Eoman 
citizens was 4,230,000. A third time ... in the consulship 
of Sextus Pompeius and Sextus Appuleius [14 a.d.], with 
Tiberius Caesar as colleague, I [took the census when] the 
number of Roman citizens was 4,937,000. By new legisla- 
tion I have restored many customs of our ancestors which 
had begun to fall into disuse, and I have myself also set 
many examples worthy of imitation by those to follow me. 

By decree of the Senate my name has been included in 
the hymn of the Salii,^ and it has been enacted by law that 
as long as I live I shall be invested with the tribunician 
power. I refused to be pontifex maximus in place of a 
colleague still living, when the people proffered me [that] 
priesthood which my father had held. 

Benefactions and Public Works conducted by Augustus 

[The temple of] Janus Quirinus, which it was the pur- 
pose of our fathers to close when there was a victorious 
peace throughout the whole Eoman Empire, — by land and 
sea, — and which — before my birth — had been alleged to 
have been closed only twice at all, since Rome was founded : 
thrice did the Senate order it closed while I was princeps.^ 

To each of the Roman plebs I paid 300 sesterces [$12] 
in accord with the last will of my father [Caesar], In my 
own name in my fifth consulship [29 b.c] I gave 400 ses- 
terces [$16] from the spoils of war. Again in my tenth 
consulship [24 b.c] I gave from my own estate to every 
man [among the Romans] 400 sesterces as a donative. In 
my eleventh, twelve times I made distributions of food, buy- 
ing grain at my own charges. [And I made like gifts on sev- 
eral other occasions.] The sum which I spent for Italian 
farms [for the veterans] was about 600,000,000 sesterces 
[124,000,000] and for lands in the provinces about 260,- 

1 As if Augustus were a god. 

2 29 B.C., 25 B.C., and probably again in 8 B.C. 


000,000 [$10,400,000]. . . . Four times have I aided the 
public treasury from my own means, to such extent that 
I furnished to those managing the treasury department 
160,000,000 sesterces [$6,000,000]. 

I built the Curia [Senate House], and the Chalcidicum 
adjacent thereunto, the temple of Apollo on the Palatine 
with its porticoes, the temple of the deified Julius [Csesar], 
the Lupercal, the portico to the Circus of Flaminius [and a 
vast number of other public buildings and temples]. 

Aqueducts which have crumbled through age I have 
restored, and I have doubled the water [in the aqueduct] 
called the Marcian by turning a new stream into its course. 
The Forum Julium and the basilica which was between the 
temple of Castor and the temple of Saturn, works begun 
and almost completed by my father, I finished. 

Three times in my own name and five times in that of 
my [adoptive] sons or my grandsons I have given gladiator 
exhibitions ; in these exhibitions about 10,000 men have 
fought. [Besides other games] twenty-six times in my own 
name, or in that of my sons and grandsons I have given 
hunts of African wild beasts in the circus, the Forum, the 
amphitheaters — and about 3500 wild beasts have been 

I gave the people the spectacle of a naval battle beyond 
the Tiber where is now the grove of the Caesars. For this 
purpose an excavation was made 1800 feet long and 1200 
wide. In this contest thirty warships — triremes or 
biremes — took part, and many others smaller. About 3000 
men fought on these craft beside the rowers. 

Conquests wrought by Augustus 

I have cleared the sea from pirates. In that war with 
the slaves ^ I delivered to their masters for punishment 

iTho reference is to Sextus Pompeius's forces overthrown in 36 B.C, 
wliich were largely recruited from runaway slaveg. 


30,000 slaves who had fled their masters and taken up arms 
against the Republic. The provinces of Gaul, Spain, 
Africa, Sicily, and Sardinia swore the same allegiance to me. 
I have extended the boundaries of all the provinces of the 
Eoman People which were bordered by nations not yet 
subjected to our sway. My fleet has navigated the ocean 
from the mouth of the Rhine as far as the boundaries of 
the Cimbri where aforetime no Roman had ever penetrated 
by land or by sea. The German peoples there sent their 
legates, seeking my friendship, and that of the Roman 
people. At almost the same time, by my command and 
under my auspices two armies have been led into Ethiopia 
and into Arabia, which is called "The Happy," and very 
many of the enemy of both peoples have fallen in battle, 
and many towns have been captured. 

I added Egypt to the Empire of the Roman People. 
When the king of Greater Armenia was killed I could have 
made that country a province, but I preferred after the 
manner of our fathers to deliver the kingdom to Tigranes 
[a vassal prince]. ... I have compelled the Parthians to 
give up to me the spoils and standards of three Roman 
armies, and as suppliants to seek the friendship of the 
Roman people. Those [recovered] standards, moreover, I 
have deposited in the sanctuary located in the temple of 
Mars the Avenger. 

In my sixth and seventh consulships [28 and 27 B.C.] 
when I had put an end to the civil wars, after having 
obtained complete control of the government, by universal 
consent I transferred the Republic from my own dominion 
back to the authority of the Senate and Roman People. In 
return for this favpr by me, I received by decree of the 
Senate the title Augustus, the door-posts of my house were 
publicly decked with laurels, a civic crown ^ was fixed above 

1 A " civic croTcn " was given for saving a citizen. Augustus liad saved 
the state. 


my door, and in the Julian Curia [Senate-house] was set a 
golden shield, which by its inscription bore witness that it 
was bestowed on me, by the Senate and Eoman People, on 
account of my valor, clemency, justice, and piety. After 
that time I excelled all others in dignity, but of power I 
held no more than those who were my colleagues in any 

[A kind of supplement to the inscription adds]: The sum 
of money which he gave into the treasury or to the Roman 
People or discharged soldiers was 600,000,000 denarii 
($96,000,000) [and names many other public works]. 

57. Egypt and its Condition and Government 

Sttabo's " Geography," book XVm, chap. I, tt 12-13. Bohn Translation 

Everywhere under the Early Empire the Roman rule meant 
peace, law and order, justice alid prosperity. A notable example 
of this was the great and rich province of Egypt, which had been 
woefully ruled by the last kings of the Ptolemy line, ending with 
the famous Cleopatra. Augustus organized the country as the 
Emperor's own special domain land. The Emperor was con- 
sidered the successor of the ancient Pharaohs ; his deputy — the 
praefect — ruled the country with an authority permitted to few 
other governors. Under Roman rule Egypt experienced a marked 
increase in prosperity. 

At present [in Augustus's time] Egypt is a Roman 
province, and pays considerable tribute, and is well 
governed by prudent persons sent there in succession. 
The governor thus sent out has the rank of king. Sub- 
ordinate to him is the administrator of justice, who is the 
supreme judge in many cases. There is another officer 
called the Idologus whose business is to inquire into 
property for which there is no claimant, and which of right 
falls to Csesar. These are accompanied by Cassar's freed- 


men and stewards, who are intrusted with affairs of more 
or less importance. 

Three legions are stationed in Egypt, one in the city [of 
Alexandria], the rest in the country. Besides these, there 
are also nine Roman cohorts quartered in the city, three on 
the borders of Ethiopia in Syene, as a guard to that tract, 
and three in other parts of the country. There are also 
three bodies of cavalry distributed at convenient posts. 

Of the native magistrates in the cities, the first is the 
"Expounder of the Law" — who is dressed in scarlet. He 
receives the customary honors of the land, and has the care 
of providing what is necessary for the city. The second is 
the "Writer of the Records"; the third is the "Chief 
Judge " ; the fourth is the " Commander of the ISTight 
Guard." These officials existed in the time of the [Ptole- 
maic] kings, but in consequence of the bad administration 
of the public affairs by the latter, the prosperity of the city 
[of Alexandria] was ruined by licentiousness. Polybius 
expresses his indignation at the state of things when he 
was there. He describes the inhabitants of Alexandria as 
being composed of three classes, — first the Egyptians 
and natives, acute in mind, but very poor citizens, and 
[wrongfully] meddlesome in civic affairs. Second were the 
mercenaries, — a numerous and undisciplined body, — for it 
was an old custom to keep foreign soldiers — who from the 
worthlessness of their sovrans knew better how to lord it 
than to obey. The third were the [so-called] "Alexan- 
drines," who, for the same reason, were not orderly citizens ; 
however they were better than the mercenaries, for al- 
though they were a mixed race, yet being of Greek origin 
they still retained the usual Hellenic customs. 

Such, then, if not worse, were the [social] conditions [of 
Alexandria] under the last kings. The Romans, as far as 
they were able, corrected — as I have said — many abuses, 
and established an orderly government — by setting up 


vice-governors, " nomarchs," and "ethnarchs," whose busi- 
ness it vyas to attend to the details of administration. 

68. Horace's Secular Hymn 

Horace. De Vere's Translation 

In 17 B.C. Augustus celebrated the "Secular Games," a pecul- 
iarly solemn event, supposedly permitted only once in a century. 
The occasion was one of general jubilation over the notable peace 
and prosperity of the age. The " Secular Hymn " by the court 
poet Horace is perhaps the most successful poem of occasion ever 
written. It fits admirably into the spirit of the occasion with its 
references to the old divinities and the contemporary rulers and 
their triumphs. It was probably sung on the third day of the 
festival at the temple of Apollo on the Palatine by a choir of 
twenty-seven noble boys and maidens. 

Phcebus ! and Dian, thou whose sway, 

Mountains and woods obey ! 
Twin glories of the skies, forever worshiped, hear ! 
Accept our prayer this sacred year 
When, as the Sibyl's voice ordained 

For ages yet to come. 
Pure maids and youths unstained 
Invoke the Gods who love the sevenfold hills of Rome. 

All bounteous Sun ! 

Forever changing, and forever one ! 
Who in thy lustrous car bear'st forth light. 
And hid'st it, setting, in the arms of Night, 
Look down on worlds outspread, yet nothing see 
Greater than Eome, and Rome's high sovereignty. 

Thou Ilithyia, too, whatever name. 
Goddess, thou dost approve, 
Lucina, Genitalis, still the same 
Aid destined mothers with a mother's love ; 


Prosper the Senate's wise decree,* 
Fertile of marriage faith and countless progeny ! 
As centuries progressive wing their flight 
For thee the grateful hymn shall ever sound ; 

Thrice by day, and thrice by night 
For thee the choral dance shall beat the ground. 

Fates ! whose unfailing word 
Spoken from lips Sibylline shall abide, 

Ordained, preserved and sanctified 
By Destiny's eternal law, accord 

To Rome new blessings that shall last 

In chain unbroken from the Past. 
Mother of fruits and flocks, prolific Earth ! 
Bind wreaths of spiked corn round Ceres's hair : 
And may soft showers and Jove's benignant air 

Nurture each infant birth ! 

Lay down thine arrows, God of day ! 
Smile on thy youths elect who singing pray. 
Thou, Crescent Queen, bow down thy star-crowned head. 
And on thy youthful choir a kindly infiuence shed. 
If Rome be all your work — if Troy's sad band 
Safe sped by you attained the Etruscan strand, 

A chosen remnant, vowed 
To seek new Lares, and a changed abode — 
Remnant for whom thro' Ilion's blazing gate 
.iEneas, orphan of a ruined State, 

Opened a pathway wide and free 
To happier homes and liberty : — 
Ye Gods ! If Rome be yours, to placid Age 
Give timely rest : to docile Youth 
Grant the rich heritage 

I Augustus's law to promote fruitful marriages. 


Of morals, modesty, and truth. 
On Rome- herself bestow a teaming race 
Wealth, Empire, Taith, and all befitting Grace. 

Vouchsafe to Venus' and Anchises' heir, 
Who offers at your shrine 
Due sacrifice of milk-white kine, 

Justly to rule, to pity and to dare, 

To crush insulting hosts, the prostrate foeman spare, 
The haughty Mede has learned to fear 
The Alban axe, the Latian spear, 
And Scythians, suppliant now, await 
The conqueror's doom, their coming fate. 
Honor and Peace, and Pristine Shame, 
And Virtue's oft dishonored name, 
Have dared, long exiled, to return, 
And with them Plenty lifts her golden horn. 

Augur Apollo ! Bearer of the bow ! 

Warrior and prophet ! Loved one of the Nine ! 
Healer in sickness ! Comforter in woe ! 

If still the templed crags of Palatine 
And Latium's fruitful plains to thee are dear, 

Perpetuate for cycles yet to come, 
Mightier in each advancing year, 

The ever growing might and majesty of Rome. 
Thou, too, Diana, from thine Aventine, 

And Algidus's deep woods, look down and hear 
The voice of those who guard the books Divine, 

And to thy youthful choir incline a loving ear. 

Return we home! We know that Jove 
And all the Gods our song approve 
To Phoebus and Diana given ; 
The virgin hymn is heard in Heaven. 


59. Story Illustkating the Magnanimity of Augus- 
* Tus IN HIS Later Years 

Seneca, " Essay on Benefits," book III, chap. 27. Bohn Translation 

While struggling for power Augustus had been ruthless and 
unscrupulous in clearing away any enemy who crossed his path. 
When he felt his throne secure, he deliberately reversed this policy, 
and made his leniency proverbial. He refused to hear charges 
of conspiracy, promoted men who had opposed him, and went to 
great lengths to refute any charge that he was a despot founding 
his power on cruelty and blood. Of this mild policy the following 
story gives striking illustration. 

In the reign of Augustus, men's own words were not yet 
able to ruin them [as under later and worse Emperors] yet 
they sometimes brought them into trouble. A Senator 
named Eufus, while at dinner, expressed a hope that Caesar 
[Augustus] would not return safe from a journey for which 
he was preparing, and added that all the bulls and calves 
wished the same thing."^ Some of those present carefully 
noted these words. At daybreak the slave who had stood 
at his feet during the dinner, told him of what he had said 
in his cups, and urged him to be the first to go to Caesar 
and denounce himself. Rufus followed this advice, met 
Csesar as he was going down to the Forum, and swearing 
that he was out of his mind the day before, prayed that 
" what he had said might fall upon his own head and that 
of his children." He then begged Caesar to pardon him 
and to take him back into favor. When Csesar said he 
would do so, Eufus added, " No one will believe that you 
have taken me back into favor unless you make me a present 
of something," and he asked for and obtained a sum of 
money so large that it would have been a gift not to be 

1 They feared lest they be slaughtered in the thanksgiving sacrifices on 
his return. 


slighted, even if bestowed by an unoffended prince. Caesar 
added, " In the future I will take care never to quarrel with 
you, — for my own sake." 

60. Vergil's Gloeification of the Julian Line 

iEneid, book VI, U. 789-800, 847-853. H. H. Ballard's Translation 

Vergil's Mneii — rightly understood — is one long paean, glori- 
fying Rome, its founders, and its greatness in the Augustan age. 
How skUhully the courtly poet paid his tribute to the reigning 
Julii and especially to Augustus is shown in the following lines 
from the great Latin epic. In calling Augustus's age " Golden," 
Vergil is merely voicing the public gratitude for the good govern- 
ment and general prosperity that marked the Early Empire ; few 
rulers were more popular than Augustus. 

[Anchises, in the realms of the dead, is reciting to his son 
^neas the future glories of the Roman race.] 

Lo ! Csesar and all the Julian 
Line, predestined to rise to the infinite spaces of heaven. 
This, yea, this is the man, so often foretold thee in promise, 
Caesar Augustus, descended from God, who again shall a 

Age in Latium found, in fields once governed by Saturn 
Further than India's hordes, or the Garymantian peoples 
He shall extend his reign ; there's a land beyond all of our 

'Yond the far track of the year and the sun, where sky- 
bearing Atlas 
Turns on his shoulders the firniament studded with bright 

constellations ; 
Yea, even now, at his coming, foreshadowed by omens from 

Shudder the Caspian realms, and the barbarous Scythian 

While the disquieted harbors of Nile are affrighted ! 


[Anchises now points out the long line of worthies and con- 
querors who are to precede Augustus, and adds these lines.] 

Others better may fashion the breathing bronze with more 

delicate fingers ; 
Doubtless they also will summon more lifelike features 

from marble : 
They shall more cunningly plead at the bar; and the mazes 

of heaven 
Draw to the scale and determine the march of the swift 

Tliine be the care, Borne, to subdue the whole world for 

thine empire ! 
Tliese be the arts for thee, — the order of peace to establish, 
Them that are vanquished to spare, and them that are haughty 

to humble I ' 

61. The Glories op Rome 

Strabo, " Geography," book V, chap. 3, II 8. Bohn Translation 

Addressing a Greek audience, Strabo gives us this impression 
of the physical aspect of the mighty city that had mastered all 
Hellendom. He wrote in the age of Augustus. The city prob- 
ably continued to increase in magnificence for the next two hun- 
dred years, and a number of the most famous buildings, e.y. the 
Flavian Amphitheater, were not yet erected. 

The Greek cities are thought to have flourished mainly 
on account of the felicitous choice made by their founders, 
in regard to the beauty and strength of their sites, their 
proximity to some haven, and the fineness of the country. 
But the Roman prudence was more particularly employed 
on matters which have received but little attention from the 
Greeks, — such as paving their roads, constructing aqueducts, 
and sewers. In fact they have paved the roads, cut through 

iPerhaps the most famous lines in Latin poetry. 


hills, and filled up valleys, so that the merchandise may be 
conveyed by carriage from the ports. The sewers, arched 
over with hewn stones, are large enough in parts for actual 
hay wagons to pass through, while so plentiful is the supply 
of wats]- from the aqueducts, that rivers may be said to flow 
through the city and the sewers, and almost every house is 
furnished with water pipes and copious fountains. 

We may remark that the ancients [of Eepublican times] 
bestowed little attention upon the beautifying of Eome. 
But their successors, and especially those of our own day, 
have at the same time embellished the city with numerous 
and splendid objects. Pompey, the Divine Caesar [i.e. 
Julius Caesar], and Augustus, with his children, friends, 
wife, and sister have surpassed all others in their zeal and 
munificence in these decorations. The greater number of 
these may be seen in the Campus Martins which to the 
beauties of nature adds those of art. The size of the plain 
is remarkable, allowing chariot races and the equestrian 
sports without hindrance, and multitudes [here] exercise 
themselves with ball games, in the Circus, and on the wres- 
tling grounds. The structures that surround [the Campus], 
the greensward covered with herbage all the year around, 
the summit of the hills beyond the Tiber, extending from 
its banks with panoramic effect, present a spectacle which 
the eye abandons with regret. 

Near to this plain is another surrounded with columns, 
sacred groves, three theaters, an amphitheater, and superb 
temples, each close to the other, and so splendid that it 
would seem idle to describe the rest of the city after it. 
For this cause the Romans esteeming it the most sacred 
place, have erected funeral monuments there to the illustri- 
ous persons of either sex. The most remarkable of these is 
that called the " Mausoleum " [the tomb of Augustus] which 
consists of a mound of earth raised upon a high foundation 
of white marble, situated near the river, and covered on the 


top with evergreen shrubs. Upon the summit is a bronze 
statue of Augustus Ceesar, and beneath the mound are the 
funeral urns of himself, his relatives, and his friends. Be- 
hind is a large grove containing charming promenades. In 
the center of the plain [the Campus Martius] is the spot 
where [the body of] this prince was reduced to ashes. It 
is surrounded by a double inclosure, one of marble, the other 
of iron, and planted within with poplars. If thence you 
proceed to visit the ancient Forum, which is equally filled 
with basilicas, porticoes, and temples, you will there behold the 
Capitol, the Palatine, and the noble works that adorn them, 
and the piazza of Livia [Augustus's Empress], — each 
successive work causing you speedily to forget that which 
you have seen before. Such then is Rome ! 


No political experiment was ever a greater immediate success 
than the Roman Empire. Down to the death of Antoninus Pius 
it must have appeared the final solution of all governmental 
problems. Even after the Roman World became convulsed with the 
civil wars and barbarian invasions of the third century, no one 
seems really to have doubted the permanence of the Empire as 
an institution divinely ordained and perpetuated. 

It is sometimes complained that too much time has been wasted 
upon the study of the personal biographies, crimes, exploits, etc., 
of the individual Emperors, and not enough upon the general fea- 
tures of the government and society of their day ; and it is per- 
fectly true that court gossip and the anecdotes, e.g. of the gluttony 
of a Vitellius, do not constitute the most valuable history. Yet 
on the other hand, a study of the personalia of the Emperors is by 
no means useless. Sooner or later representatives of almost all 
the more usual human types within the Empire found their way 
to the throne ; and in the long line of the Osesars we can study 
in the concrete what was best and what was worst in the first 
three Christian centuries. There were many potential Neroes in 
the Empire of the first century, and it is also safe to assume that 
Marcus Aurelius had many humble yet high-minded comrades 
in his courageous philosophy, during the second century. 

Naturally one's eyes are focused upon the crimes of a Nero, a 
Domitian, or an Elagabalus. It shoidd never be forgotten, however, 
that these evil Emperors were only in power a small fraction. of the 
time ; and even under their sway, the average provincials probably 
were not misgoverned. The typical Roman Emperor was very 
far removed from an irascible and arbitrary Oriental sultan. He 
was often a tried soldier, taught in the camps to obey before he 


9a.d.] the defeat of VARUS 183 

could command ; he had frequently held important administrative 
offices; and so was an experienced civil governor, and in most 
cases he took a highly serious view of the dignity and respon- 
sibility of his great office, and was keenly conscious that the 
prosperity of his subjects rested largely in his keeping. In 
discharging his duties of course no tender scruples nor squeamish 
sympathies were likely to prevent him from doing what he 
conceived to be for the good of the "Eoman World"; and it 
is useless to look for the Christian virtues of charity and mercy 
to enemies and evildoers. The Eoman Empire did not fall, how- 
ever, through the personal inefficiency of its rulers. The evils 
which undermined it were probably beyond remedy at the hands 
of any single Caesar. 

In this chaptei a number of typical cases are presented of 
great events which affected the woe or weal of the Empire ; and 
of incidents which illustrate ' the characters of certain famous 
Emperors. The citations, of course, could be vastly multiplied. 
Excerpts dealing with the life and thought of the Empire are re- 
served for the next chapter (VII). 

62. The Defeat of Varus 

Velleius Paterculus, "History of Rome," book ii, chaps. 117-119. 
Bohn Translation 

In the years 12 to 9 B.C. the vast region known as Germany 
had been brought under Eoman control by Drusus, the stepson 
of Augustus. Up to 9 A.D. it seemed likely that the whole 
country and its inhabitants would be peacefully Eomanized. 
How this scheme came to nought, thanks to the folly of Varus 
the Eoman governor, and the patriotism of the chieftain Arminius 
(or Hermann), is told by the contemporary historian Velleius 
Paterculus. The event was an important one: — for the first 
time in history the Eoman eagles were forced back. 

Quintilius Varus [the new governor of Germany] was 
born of a noble rather than an illustrious family ; he was 
of a mild disposition, and of a sedate manner, and being 


rather indolent both in mind and body was more accustome4 
to ease in a camp than action in the field. How far he 
was from despising money, Syria — where he had been 
governor — gave the proof ; for when he went there the 
province was rich and he was poor; when he departed 
it was poor and he was rich! On appointment to the 
command in Germany, he imagined that the inhabitants 
had nothing human but their voice and limbs, and that 
creatures who could be tamed by the sword might be 
civilized by [the intricacies of] law. With this notion, 
once in the heart of Germany, as if among a most peace- 
loving folk, he spent the summer deciding litigation, and 
ordering the pleadings before a tribunal. [The Germans, 
though exasperated by such strange proceedings, pretended 
to be grateful for them] and they at length lulled Varus ^ 
into such a perfect security that he fancied himself a city 
prsetor [at Rome] handing out justice in the Porum, 
instead of commanding an army in the middle of Germany. 
It was at this time, that a young man of high birth, 
Arminius, son of the German prince, Segimer, — brave 
in action, quick in understanding and with an activity 
of mind far beyond his barbarian condition, a youth who 
had regularly accompanied our army in the former war, 
and had been made a Roman citizen and even an eques, — 
took advantage of the general's indolence to perpetrate an 
act of atrocity ; cleverly judging that a man is most easily 
destroyed when he is most secure, and that security very 
often is the commencement of calamity. He communicated 
his thoughts at first to a few, then to more friends, assur- 
ing them that the Romans might readily be surprised. 
Then he proceeded to add action to resolution, and fixed 
a time for executing the plot. Notice of his intent was 
given to Varus by Segestes, a German of high credit and 
rank; but fate was not to be opposed by warnings, and 
had already darkened the Roman general's vision. . . . 


Varus refused to credit the information, asserting that " he 
felt a trust in the good will of the [subject] people, pro- 
portioned to his kindness to them." And after this first 
warning there was no time for a second. 

[The Roman army was therefore surprised in the forest 
by the Germans of Arrainius.J An army unrivaled in brav- 
ery, the flower of the Roman troops in discipline, vigor and 
military experience, was thus brought through supine lead- 
ership, the perfidy of the foe, and a cruel Fortune into an 
utterly desperate situation. The troops did not even have 
the opportunity of fighting as they wished . . . and hemmed 
in by v^oods, lakes and the bands of ambushed enemies, 
were entirely cut off by those foes, whom they had used to 
slaughter like cattle. Their leader. Varus, showed some 
spirit in dying, though none in fighting — for, imitating the 
example of his father and grandfather, he ran himself 
through with his sword. Of the two prsefects of the camp 
Lucius Eggius gave an honorable example, but Ceionius one 
of baseness, for after the bulk of the army had perished, 
Ceionius advised a surrender, preferring to die by the execu- 
tioner than in battle. Numonius Vala, Varus's lieutenant, a 
man hitherto of good reputation, this time proved guilty of 
foul treachery, for leaving the infantry unguarded he fled 
with the allied cavalry, trying to reach the Rhine. But 
Fortune avenged his crime ; he perished in this act of de- 
serting his countrymen. The savage enemy mangled the 
half-burned body of Varus.^ His head was cut off and sent 
to Marobodus [a barbarian king] and by him sent to the 
Emperor ; and so at length received honorable burial in the 
sepulcher of his family. 

1 The Romans in their last stand seem to have tried to burn his body 
on a funeral pyre. 


63. A Discourse of Claudius in the Senate 

Inscription. Published in Zell's " Opuscula," and now translated 

Claudius, the third successor of Augustus (41 to 54 A.D.), was 
a fearfully pedantic and long-winded individual. He was not 
without abilities as a ruler, however, and did much to equalize the 
condition of the Italians and the Provincials. The following 
speech of his in the Senate (luckily preserved on an inscription) 
illustrates at once the nature of an imperial harangue before the 
Conscript Fathers, the interruptions that seem to have been 
allowed even in the speech of an Emperor, the broad personalities 
in which Claudius indulged, and his liberal policy withal, especially 
to the Gauls. 

"It is surely an innovation of the divine Augustus, my 
great-uncle, and of Tiberius Csesar, my uncle, to desire that 
particularly the flower of the colonies and of the municipal 
towns, that is to say, all those that contain men of breeding 
and wealth, should be admitted to this assembly." 

[^Interrujition, seemingly by a senator"] : " How now ? Is 
not an Italian senator to be preferred to a provincial senator ! " 

" I will soon explain this point to you, when I submit that 
part of my acts which I performed as censor, but I do not 
conceive it needful to repel even the provincials who can 
do honor to the Senate House. Here is this splendid and 
powerful colony of Vienna ; ■^ is it so long since it sent to us 
senators? From that colony comes Lucius Vestinus, one 
of the glories of the equestrian order, my personal friend, 
whom I keep close to myself for the management of my 
private affairs. Let his sons be suffered — I pray you — 
to become priests of the lowest rank, while waiting till, with 
the lapse of years, they can follow the advancement of their 
dignity. As for that robber, [Valerius Asiaticus from 
Vienna] I will pass over his hateful name.' For I detest 

1 Not the great Vienna on the Danube, but the modern town of Vienna in 
southern France. 


that hero of the gymnasium, who brought the consulship 
into his family before even his colony had obtained the full 
rights of Roman citizenship. I could say as much of his 
brother, stamped as unworthy by this unlucky relationship, 
and incapable henceforth of being a useful member of 
your body." 

\_Interrupting shouf]: "Here now, Tiberius Csesar Ger- 
manicus ! It's time to let the Conscript Fathers under- 
stand what your talk is driving at — already you've 
reached the very limits of Narbonnese Gaul ! " 

\_Claudius resumes] : " All these young men of rank, on 
whom I cast my glance, you surely do not regret to see 
among the number of the senators ; any more than Persicus, 
that most high-born gentleman and my friend, is ashamed 
when he meets upon the images of his ancestors the name 
Allobrogius.^ And if such is your thought, what would 
you desire more ? Do I have to point it out to you ? 
Even the territory which is located beyond the province 
of [GalliaJ Narbonnensis, has it not already sent you 
senators ? For surely we have no regrets in going clear 
up to Iiugdunum * for the members of our order. Assuredly, 
Conscript Fathers, it is not without some hesitation that 
I cross the limits of the provinces which are well known 
and familiar to you, — but the moment is come when I 
must plead openly the cause of Further Gaul. It will 
be objected that Gaul sustained a war against the divine 
Julius for ten years. But let there be opposed to this 
the memory of a hundred years of steadfast fidelity, and 
a loyalty put to the proof in many trying circumstances. 
My father, Drusus, was able to force Germany to submit, 
because behind him reigned a profound peace assured 
by the tranquillity of the Gauls. And note well, that at 

iln memory of a victory by a certain ancestor of Persicus, who de- 
feated tiie Allobroges in 121 B.C. 
2 Modern Lyons. 


the moment he was summoned to that war, he was busy 
instituting the census [in Gaul], a new institution among 
them, and contrary to their customs. And how difficult 
and perilous to us is this business of the census/ although 
all we require is that our public resources should be known, 
we have learned by all too much experience." 

64. A Typical Nebonian Crime : the Muedeb 
OP Bbitannicus 

Tacitus, "Annals," book Xm, chaps. 15-17. Church and Broadiib 

Nero's crimes have become proverbial, and the repetition of 
tliein a dreary catalogue. The following story of the death of 
his stepbrother Britannicus (the true son of Claudius, the late 
Emperor) is typical of most of the others. It was the first of 
Nero's great iniquities, being perpetrated in 55 A.D., when the 
young sovereign was only eighteen years old. 

[Agrippina, Nero's mother, was disappointed in her hopes 
of controlling the government through her son. She com- 
plained of the efforts of his ministers Seneca and Burrhus 
against her, and threw out hints that Britannicus, Claudius's 
real heir, and stepbrother to Nero, was coming of age and 
must have his rights.] 

Nero was confounded at this, and as the day was near on 
which Britannicus was to complete his fourteenth year,^ he 
reflected on the domineering temper of his mother, and now 
again on the character of the young prince, which a trifling 
circumstance had lately tested, — trifling, yet sufiicient to 
gain him wide popularity. During the Saturnalia amid 
other pastimes of his playmates, at a game of lot drawing 
for "king" [of the revels], the lot fell upon Nero, upon 

1 Perilous, of course, because it was detested by the Provincials as the 
basis for Roman taxation. 

2 When by Roman usage youths tooli the manly toga and came of age. 


wMcli he gave all his other companions various orders but 
of such a character as would not put them to the blush; but 
when he told Britannicus to step forward and begin a song, 
hoping for a laugh at the expense of a boy who knew noth- 
ing of sober, much less of riotous, society, the lad had with 
perfect coolness commenced some verses which hinted at 
his expulsion from his father's house, and from supreme 
power. This procured him pity, which was all the more 
conspicuous, as night with its merriment had stripped off all 
disguise [of men's feelings]. 

Nero saw the reproach and doubled his hate. Pressed by 
Agrippina's menaces, having no charge against his " brother," 
and not daring openly to order his murder, he meditated a 
secret device, and directed poison to be prepared through 
the agency of JuUius Pollio, a tribune of the praetorians, 
who had in his custody a woman under sentence for poison- 
ing, — one Locusta, — a person with a vast reputation for 
crime. That all the people waiting upon Britannicus should 
care nothing for right or honor had been long since provided 
for. He actually received his first dose of poison from his 
tutors [but it did not prove deadly, and he suffered no great 
hurt]. But Nero, impatient at such slow progress in crime, 
threatened the tribune and ordered the prisoner to execution, 
for prolonging his anxiety while they were thinking of the 
popular gossip and preparing their own defense. Then they 
promised that that death should be as sudden as if it were 
the hurried work of the dagger, and a rapid poison of in- 
gredients previously tested was prepared close to the Em- 
peror's chamber. 

It was customary for the [young] imperial princes to sit 
during their meals with other nobles of the same age, in the 
sight of their kinsfolk, but at a table of their own, furnished 
somewhat frugally. There Britannicus was dining, and 
as whatever he ate and drank was always tested by the 
taste of a select attendant, the following device was con- 


trived, that the usage might not be dropped, or the crime 
betrayed by the death of both prince and attendant. — A 
cup as yet harmless, but extremely hot and already tested 
was handed to Britannicus ; — then, on his refusing it 
because of its warmth, poison was poured in with some 
cold water, and this so penetrated his entire frame that he 
lost alike voice and breath. 

There was a stir among the company; some, taken by 
surprise, ran hither and thither, while those whose discern- 
ment was keener remained motionless, with their eyes fixed 
on Nero, — who, as he reclined in seeming unconcern, 
said that, — " this was a common occurrence, from a periodic 
epilepsy, which had afflicted Britannicus from infancy, and 
his sight and senses would presently return." As for Agrip- 
pina, her terror and confusion, though her countenance 
straggled to hide it, so visibly appeared, that she was 
clearly ignorant, as was Octavia, Britannicus's own sister 
[and Nero's wife]. She saw in fact that she was robbed of 
her only remaining refuge, and that here was a precedent 
for parricide. Even Octavia, — notwithstanding her use- 
ful inexperience, — had learned to hide her grief, her affec- 
tion, and indeed every emotion. 

And so after a brief pause the company resumed its mirth. 
One and the same night witnessed Britannicus's death and 
funeral, preparations having already been made for his ob- 
sequies, which were on a humble scale. [A violent storm, 
testified, in popular opinion, to the wrath of heaven at the 
whole proceeding.] The emperor apologized for the hasty 
funeral by reminding people that it was the practice of our 
ancestors to withdraw from view any grievously untimely 
death, and not to dwell on it with panegyrics or display. 
"Por himself," said he, "as he had now lost a brother's 
help, his remaining hopes centered in the State, and all the 
more tenderness ought to be shown by the Senate and 
People towards a prince who was the only survivor of a 
family born to the highest greatness." 


65. The Gkeat Fire at Rome in the Days of Nero 

Cassius Dio, "Roman History," book 62, chaps. 16-18 

Most historians charge Nero with having caused the great fire 
that nearly destroyed Rome in 64 a.d. Modern criticism makes 
it very doubtful whether the Emperor reaUy caused the fire ; 
although his life was so iniquitous that people readily believed 
that he was guilty. The city of Rome was, for the most part, 
composed of very ill-built and inflammable insulm (tenement 
houses), and a blaze once under headway was almost impossible 
to check. In any case, the burning of Rome was one of the 
famous events of the age ; and it is likely enough that thugs and 
bandits pretended they had the Emperor's orders, when they spread 
the flames in the hope of getting new chances for plunder. 

Nero had the wish — or rather it had always been a fixed 
purpose of his — to make an end of the whole city in his 
lifetime. Priam he deemed wonderfully happy in that he 
had seen Troy perish at the same moment his authority 
over her ended. Accordingly, Nero sent out by different 
ways men feigning to be drunk, or engaged in some kipd of 
mischief, and at first had a few fires kindled quietly and in 
different quarters ; people, naturally, were thrown into ex- 
treme confusion, not being able to find either the cause of 
the trouble nor to end it; and meantime met with many, 
strange sights and sounds. They ran about as if distracted, 
and some rushed one way, some another. In the midst of 
helping their neighbors, men would learn that their own 
homes were blazing. Others learned, for the first time, 
that their property was on fire, by being told it was burned 
down. People would run from their houses into the lanes,* 
with a hope of helping from the outside, or again would 
rush into the houses from the streets seeming to imagine 
they could do something from the inside. The shouting 
and screaming of children, women, men, and gray beards 

1 These were fearfully narrow and tortuous in Rome. 


mingled together unceasingly ; and betwixt the combined 
smoke and shouting no one could make out anything. 

All this time many who were carrying away their own 
goods, and many more who were stealing what belonged to 
others kept encountering one another and falling over the 
merchandise. It was impossible to get anywhere ; equally 
impossible to stand still. Men thrust, and were thrust 
back, upset others, and were upset themselves, many were 
suffocated or crushed ; in short, no possible calamity at such 
a disaster failed to befall. 

This state of things lasted not one day, but several days 
and nights running. Many houses were destroyed through 
lack of defenders; and many were actually fired in more 
places by professed rescuers. For the soldiers (including 
the night watch) with a keen eye for plunder, instead of 
quenching the conflagration, kindled it the more. While 
similar scenes were taking place at various points, a sudden 
wind caught the fire and swept it over what [of the city] 
remained. As a result nobody troubled longer about goods 
or homes, but all the survivors, from a place of safety, 
gazed on what appeared to be many islands and cities in 
flames. No longer was there any grief for private loss, pub- 
lic lamentation swallowed up this — as men reminded each 
other how once before the bulk of the city had been even 
thus laid desolate by the Gauls. 

While the whole people was in this state of excitement, 
and many driven mad by calamity were leaping into the 
blaze, Nero mounted upon the roof of the palace, where 
almost the whole conflagration was commanded by a swee'p- 
ing glance, put on the professional harpist's garb, and sang 
"The Taking of Troy"* (so he asserted), although to com- 
mon minds, it seemed to be "The Taking of Rome." 

The disaster which the city then underwent, had no 
parallel save in the Gallic invasion. The whole Palatine 

1 A poem probably composed by himself. 


hill, the theater of Taurus, and nearly two thirds of the 
rest of the city were burned. Countless persons perished. 
The populace invoked curses upon Nero without intermis- 
sion, not uttering his name, but simply cursing " those who 
set the fire " ; ^ and this all the more because they were dis- 
turbed by the recollection of the oracle recited in Tiberius's 
time, to this effect, 

" After three times three hundred rolling years 
In civil strife Rome's Empire disappears." 

And when Nero to encourage them declared these verses 
were nowhere to be discovered, they changed and began 
to repeat another oracle — alleged to be a genuine one of 
the Sibyl, 

" When the matricide reigneth In Rome, 
Then eudeth the race of JJneas." 

And thus it actually turned out, whether this was really 
revealed in advance by some divination, or whether the 
populace now for the first time gave it the form of a sacred 
utterance merely adapted to the circumstances. For Nero 
was indeed the last sovran of the Julian line, descended 
from .(Eneas. 

Nero now began to collect vast sums both from indi- 
viduals and nations, sometimes using downright compul- 
sion, with the conflagration as his excuse, and sometimes 
obtaining funds by " voluntary " offers. As for the mass 
of the Eomans they had the fund for their food supply 

1 This was not merely through fear of the Emperor. It probably took 
some time for the rumor to spread that Nero had caused the fire. 

2 It ought in fairness to be said Nero did everything possible to relieve 
the suffering after the fire, giving freely from the treasury as well as 
levying on the provinces. 


66. How THE Emperor Domitian tried to amuse the 
KoMAN Populace 

Snetouias, " Life of Domitian," chap. IV. Bobn Translation 

Despite their control of the army and the subservience of the 
Senate, the average Emperor quailed before the hootings and ill 
will of the Roman mob. Thus Domitian (81-96 A.D.), a bad and 
tyrannical Caesar, tried to win popularity by providing the idle 
masses of the capital with their favorite games and arena mas- 

He frequently entertained the people with the most 
magnificent and costly shows, not only in the amphitheater, 
but in the circus ; where, besides the usual chariot races, 
with two or four horses abreast, he exhibited the imitation 
of a battle betwixt cavalry and infantry ; and in the amphi- 
theater a sea fight. The people too were entertained with 
wild-beast hunts, and gladiator fights even in the night-time, 
by torchlight. He constantly attended the games given by 
the quaestors, which had been disused for some time, but 
were revived by him ; and upon those occasions, he always 
gave the people the liberty of demanding two pair of 
gladiators out of his own [private] " school," who appeared 
last in coiirt uniforms. 

He presented the people with naval fights, performed by 
fleets almost as numerous as those usually employed in real 
engagements ; making a vast lake near the Tiber, and 
building seats around it. And he witnessed these fights 
himself during a very heavy rain. 

He likewise instituted in honor of Jupiter Capitolinus, 
a solemn contest in music to be performed every five years ; 
besides horse-racing and gymnastic exercises. There was 
too a public performance in elocution both Greek and Latin, 
and beside the musicians who sung to the harp, there were 
others who played concerted pieces or solos without vocal 


Thrice he bestowed upon the people' a bounty of 300 
sesterces [$12] per man, and at a public show of gladiators 
a very plentiful feast. At the " Festival of the Seven Hills " 
[held in December], he distributed large hampers of pro- 
visions to the Senatorial and Equestrian orders, and small 
baskets to the commonalty, and encouraged them to eat by 
setting the example. The day after, he scattered among the 
people a variety of cakes and other delicacies to be scrambled 
after ; and on the greater part of them falling amidst the 
seats of the lower classes, he ordered 500 tickets" to be 
thrown into each range of benches belonging to the 
Senatorial and Equestrian orders. 

67. The Poet Statius banquets with his Lord God 
THE Emperoe 

Statius, " SilvEE," book IV, 2. Slater's Tianslation 

How servile Roman society had become before the end of the 
first century a.d., and how ready literary men were to heap adula- 
tion upon even a very morose and despotic Emperor, is shown by 
this extract from a poem by Statius (a writer of some ability) on 
the occasion of an invitation to dine with Domitian. When a poet 
could prostitute his genius in this manner, it is evident that Utera- 
ture was bound to decline. 

The royal feast of Sidonian Dido is sung by him who 
brought the great ^neas to the Laurentine fields : the 
banquet of Alcinous is celebrated in deathless verse by him 
who sang the return over the broad seas of Ulysses out- 
worn ; but I — to whom Caesar has even now for the first 
time granted to enjoy the bliss of that holy banquet, and to 
rise up from an Emperor's table — how shall I sound my 
vows upon the lyre ; how avail to pay my thanks ? 

1 Presumably the male adult citizens in Rome are meant. 
2 These were probably lottery tickets: the lucky numbers drew articles 
of value, — vases, slaves, money, possibly a small villa. 


Barren are the years of my past. This is the beginning 
of my days, this the threshold of life ! 

Ruler of the world, great father of the conquered globe : 
hope of mankind, darling of the gods, can it be that I be- 
hold thee as I recline [at the feast] ? Is it thou ? And 
dost thou suffer me to see thy face, thy face hard by at the 
board over the wine, and must I not rise up to do thee 
homage ? . . . 

Not on the feast : not upon the slabs of Moorish citron- 
wood set on pillars of ivory, not upon the long array of 
henchmen — ■ on Mm, on him alone I gaze. Calm was his 
countenance ; with a quiet majesty he tempered the bright- 
ness and gently abated the blazoned pomp of his grandeur ; 
yet the radiance he sought to hide shone out upon his brow.' 

68. Deeds and Anecdotes of the Emperok Hadeian 

^lius Spartianus, " Life of Hadrian," in the " Augustan History " 

Under Hadrian (Emperor 117-138 a.d.) the Roman Empire 
reached its acme of prosperity. The Emperor, himself a man of 
remarkable and varied genius, although not always of just and 
even temperament, seemed anxious to conceal the real despotism 
of his government, by the enlightened use of his power. No new 
conquests were made, but many internal reforms were executed. 
Hadrian also was a great traveler, and spent much of his reign 
going up and down his vast empire, heaping benefits upon the 
communities with which he sojourned. 

In many places where he visited the frontiers, which were 
not separated from the Barbarians by rivers, Hadrian 
raised a kind of wall, by driving into the ground great piles. 
He set up a king over the Germans ; he quenched the sedi- 
tious movements of the Moors — for which deed the Senate 

1 The flattery seems more pronounced, when it is recalled that Domitiao 
was an extremely gloomy and forbidding monarch. 


ordered thanksgivings to the Gods. A single interview was 
sufficient for Hadrian to stop a war with the Parthians that 
seemed to threaten. Then he sailed by way of Asia and 
the Islands to Achaia ; and after the example of Hercules 
and Philip he was admitted to the Eleusinian mysteries. 
He bestowed many benefits upon the Athenians and pre- 
sided at their games. It was noticed in Achaia, that though 
many persons with swords assisted at the religious cere- 
monies, nevertheless none of the suite of Hadrian came 
armed. He passed next into Sicily, where he ascended Mt. 
Mtna, to see the sun rise, which seems there to form a bow 
of variegated colors. Next he went to Rome, and thence to 
Africa, where he heaped benefactions upon the province. 
Never did a Prince traverse over the Empire with such 
celerity ! 

After that, returning from Africa to Rome, he went 
quickly again to the East, and passing by way of Athens, 
he dedicated the public works which he had [formerly] 
commenced there ; such as a temple to Jupiter the 
Olympian, and an altar upon which he bestowed his own 

In Cappadocia he took some slaves which he intended 
for camp service. He proffered his friendship to the princes 
and kings of the region, and he did the same to Chosroes, 
king of Parthia, to whom he returned the latter's daughter, 
who had been made captive by Trajan. 

While traversing the provinces he punished according to 
their crimes the [various] governors and procurators ; and 
did so with such severity that he seemed to actually stimu- 
late their accusers. After having crossed Arabia, the 
Emperor came to Pelusium, where he erected a splendid 
monument to Pompey. While sailing on the Nile he lost 
his beloved favorite Antinoiis, whom he mourned as over a 
woman. There are various stories about this young man. 
Some say he sacrificed himself [to save] Hadrian's life; 


l^otliers give widely differing accounts as to the Emperor's 
liking for him]. The Greeks, with their sovran's consent 
accorded [the memory of Antinoils] divine honors. 

This ruler loved poetry, and cultivated carefully all 
branches of literature. He understood likewise arithmetic, 
geometry, and painting. He danced and sang extremely 
well, his bent for [sensuous] pleasure being extreme. He 
made many verses for his favorites, and wrote love poems. 
He handled weapons with much skill, and was a master of 
the military art. He also devoted some little time to the 
exercises of gladiators. Now severe, now merry, now 
voluptuous, now self-contained, now cruel, now merciful, this 
Emperor seemed never the same. [He enriched his friends 
liberally, but finally growing suspicious of some put them 
to death or ruined them.J 

[He enjoyed literary and philosophical discussions, but it 
was not safe to defeat him in them.] Favorinus [a famous 
philosopher and orator], when his friends blamed him for 
surrendering to Hadrian's criticism as to his use of a word — 
when lie had good authority on his side — laughed and 
replied, "You can never persuade me, good friends, that 
the commander of thirty legions is not the best-qualified 
[critic] in the world ! " 

When he sat as judge he was aided not merely by his 
friends and his courtiers, but by [many famous] Juris con- 
sulti, all approved by the Senate. He enacted among other 
things that no one should destroy houses in one city to 
transport the materials^ to another city. He awarded to 
children of proscribed persons, a twelfth part of their 
father's estate. He did not admit accusations for the crime 
of lese-majest^. He refused the bequests of persons whom 
he had not known, and did not accept those of personal 
acquaintances, if they had children. He enacted that 
whoever found a treasure on his own land should keep 
1 I.e. Choice marbles, frescoes, paintings, columns, statues, etc. 


it.* If one found treasure on the property of some one 
else, lie could keep half — the rest went to the proprietor. 

He took away the right of masters to kill their slaves, requir- 
ing that if the slaves deserved it, they should be condemned 
[to death] by the regular judges. He abolished the special 
dungeons for slaves and freedmen. Also hereafter not all 
the slaves of a master who was murdered in his home [by a 
slave] were to suffer death [as formerly], but only those 
within reach of his outcries. 

Hadrian had also a most agreeable style oT conversation, 
even towards persons of decidedly humble rank. He hated 
those who seemed to envy him this natural pleasure, under 
pretext of causing " the Majesty of the Throne " to be re- 
spected. At the University of Alexandria [the Museum] 
he proposed many questions to the professors there, and 
satisfied himself [as to the facts]. He had a remarkable 
memory, and great talents (for oratory), preparing his own 
orations and responses [without aid of a secretary]. He 
had a great faculty for remembering names without prompt- 
ing; it was enough to have met persons once, he could then 
even aid the nomenclators if they made a mistake. He 
remembered all the old veterans whom he had pensioned 
off. He wrote, dictated, heard others, and conversed with 
his friends ; and all at the same time ! 

69. The Chakacteb of Antoninus Pius 

Marcus Auielius, "Meditations," book I, 16. Casaubon's Translation 

Antoninus Pius (reigned 138-161 a.d.) had a singularly un- 
troubled reign, although there is reason to believe that the forces 
which later ruined the Roman world were allowed by him to work 
unchecked. No one, however, has questioned the purity of his Ufe 
and the simplicity and nobUity of his character. His personality is 

1 That it should not be confiscate to the state, as had been the custom 
with treasure- trove. 


described by hia adopted son — the famous Marcus Aurelius. It 
is a bigh tribute to tbe ancient civilization and the Stoic philoso- 
phy that they could produce two such characters and bestow on 
them successively the government of the world. 

"In my father [Antoninus Pius] I observed his meek- 
ness ; his constancy without wavering in those things which 
after due examination ... he had determined. How free 
from all vanity he carried himself in matters of honor and 
dignity (as they are esteemed) ; his laboriousness and assi- 
duity, his readiness to hear any man that had aught to 
say tending to any common good! how generally and im- 
partially he would give every man his due : his skill and 
knowledge when rigor or extremity, when indulgence or 
moderation were in season. His moderate condescending 
to other men's occasions as an ordinary man, neither abso- 
lutely requiring his friends that they should wait on him at 
his ordinary meals, nor that they should of necessity accom- 
pany him in his journeys. His sociability, his gracious and 
delightful conversation never reached satiety, his care of 
his body was within bounds and measures, not as one who 
did not wish to live long, or overstudious of neatness and 
elegancy ; yet not as one that did not regard it, so that 
through his own [care of his health] he seldom needed any 

" He was not easily moved and tossed up and down, but 
loved to be constant, both in the same places and businesses ; 
and after his great fits of headache he would return fresh and 
vigorous to his wonted affairs. He was very discreet and 
moderate in exhibiting public sights and shows for the 
pleasure and pastime of the people; in public buildings, 
congiaria [i.e. general distribution of money or corn doles], 
and the like. He did not use the baths at unseasonable 
hours. He was never curious or anxious about his food, or 
about the style or color of his clothes, or about any mere 
matter of external beauty. In all his conversation, he was 


far from all inhumanity, boldness, incivility, greediness, or 
impetuosity; never doing anything with such earnestness 
and intention that a man could say of him, that he flew 
into a heat about it, but contrariwise, all things distinctly, 
as at leisure, without trouble, orderly, soundly, and agree- 
ably. A man [in short] might have applied to him what 
is recorded of Socrates." 

[Again Marcus Aurelius says (book VI, 27) :] 

"Eemember Antoninus Pius's constancy in things that 
were done by him in accordance with reason, his equability 
in all things ; how he would never give over a matter until he 
understood the whole state of it fully and plainly ; and how 
patiently and without any resentment he would bear with 
them that did unjustly condemn him ; how he would never 
be overhasty in anything, nor give ear to slanders or false 
accusations, but examine and observe with the best diligence 
the several actions and dispositions of men. He would 
easily be content with a few things — [mere] lodgings, bed- 
ding, the ordinary food and attendance. He bore with those 
who opposed his opinions and even rejoiced if any man 
could better advise him, and finally he was exceedingly 
religious without superstition." 

70. The Eeign of Maecus Aurelius 

Eutropius, "Compendium of Roman History," book Vin, chaps. 12-14. 
Bohn Translation 

Marcus Aurelius was Emperor from 161 to 180 a.d. No ruler 
ever came to power with higher ideals and purposes, but the reign 
was not a very prosperous one. The philosopher in the purple 
was afflicted by the widespread pestilences in the Empire, and by 
the dangerous wars on the frontiers. He struggled against the 
difficulties manfully, and overcame most of them ; but his reign 
marks the beginning of the long slow decline of the Empire. 


Marcus Aurelius was trained in philosophy by Apollonius 
of Chalcedon : in the Greek language by Sextus of Chseronea, 
the grandson of Plutarch, while the eminent orator Fronto 
instructed him in Latin literature. He conducted himself 
towards all men at Rome, as if he had been their equal, be- 
ing moved by no arrogance by his elevation to the Empire. 
He exercised prompt liberality, and managed the provinces 
with the utmost kindness and indulgence. 

Under his rule affairs were successfully conducted against 
the Germans. He himself carried on a war with the Marco- 
manni, which was greater than any in the memory of man 
[in the way of wars with the Germans] — so that it was 
compared to the Punic Wars, for it was exceedingly formi- 
dable, and in it whole armies were lost ; especially as in this 
reign, after the victory over the Parthians ' there occurred a 
great pestilence so that at Rome, and throughout Italy and 
the provinces a large fraction of the population, and actually 
the bulk of the regular troops perished from the plague. 

With the greatest labor and patience he persevered for 
three whole years at Carnutum [a strategically located for- 
tress town in Pannonia] — - and brought the Marcomannic 
war to an end ; a war in which the Quadi, Vandals, Sarmar 
tians, Suevi and all the barbarians in that region, had joined 
the outbreak of the Marcomanni. He slew several thousand 
men, and having delivered the Pannonians from bondage 
[to the invaders] held a triumph at Rome. As the treas- 
ury was drained by the war, and he had no money to give 
his soldiers ; and as he would not lay any [extra] tax on 
the provinces or Senate, he sold off all his imperial furni- 
ture and decorations by an auction held in the Forum of 
Trajan, consisting of gold and cups of crystal and precious 
stone, silk garments beloiiging to his wife and to himself, 
embroidered — as they were — with gold, and numbers of 
jeweled ornaments. This sale was kept up through two 
1 Won for Marcus Aurelius by his generals. 


successive months and a great deal of money was raised 
by it. After his [final] victory, however, he refunded the 
money to such purchasers as were willing to restore what 
they had bought, but was by no means troublesome to those 
who wished to keep their purchase. 

After his victory he was so magnificent in his display of 
games [at Eome] he is said to have exhibited in the arena 
one hundred lions at once.^ Having then at last rendered 
the state happy by his excellent management and gentle- 
ness of character, he died in the eighteenth year of his 
reign, in the sixty-first of his life. He was enrolled among 
the gods, all [the Senate] voting unanimously that he 
should have such honor. 


Empibe at Auction 

Herodianus, " History of the Emperors," book n, chap. 6 ff. 

In 193 A.D. the Prsetorian Guards murdered the virtuous 
Emperor Pertinax, who had striven to reduce them to discipline. 
The sale of the purple which followed forms one of the most fear- 
ful and dramatic incidents in the history of the Empire, illustrat- 
ing: (1) how completely the guardsmen had lost all sense of 
decency, discipline, and patriotism ; (2) how the idea that all 
things were purchasable for money had possessed the men of the 
Empire. It ought to be said that the Praetorians were an espe- 
cially pampered corps, and probably the rest of the army was less 

When the report of the murder of the Emperor [Perti- 
nax] spread among the people, consternation and grief 
seized all minds, and men ran about beside themselves. 
An undirected effort possessed the people, — they strove to 
hunt out the doers of the deed, yet could neither find nor 

1 In giving such a show Marcus Aurelius simply complied with Roman 
public sentiment, despite his philosophic contempt for such displays. 


punish them. But the Senators were the worst disturbed, 
for it seemed a public calamity that they had lost a kindly- 
father and a righteous ruler. Also a reign of violence was 
dreaded, for one could guess that the soldiery would find 
that much to their liking. 

When the first and the ensuing days had passed, the peo- 
ple dispersed, each man fearing for himself ; men of rank, 
howevei", fled to their estates outside the city, in order not 
to risk themselves in the dangers of a change on the throne. 
But at last when the soldiers were aware that the people 
were quiet, and that no one would try to avenge the blood 
of the Emperor, they nevertheless remained inside their 
barracks and barred the gates ; yet they set such of their 
comrades as had the loudest voices upon the walls, and had 
them declare that the Empire was for sale at auction, and 
promise to him who bid highest that they would give him 
the power, and set him with the armed hand in the imperial 

When this proclamation was known, the more honorable 
and weighty Senators, and all persons of noble origin and 
property, would not apjiroach the barracks to offer money 
in. so vile a manner for a besmirched sovranty. However, 
a certain Julianus — who had held the consulship, and was 
counted rich — was holding a drinking bout late that even- 
ing, at the time the news came of what the soldiers pro- 
posed. He was a man notorious for his evil living; and 
now it was that his wife and daughter and fellow feasters 
urged him to rise from his banqueting couch and hasten 
to the barracks, in order to find out what was going on. 
But on the way they pressed it on him that he might get 
the sovranty for himself, and that he ought not to spare 
the money to outbid any competitors with great gifts [to the 

When he came to the wall [of the camp], he called out 
to the troops and promised to give them just as much as 


they desired, for he had ready money and a treasure room 
full of gold and silver. About the same time too came 
Sulpicianns, who had also been consul and was praefect of 
Rome and father-in-law of Pertinax, to try to buy the 
power also. But the soldiers did not receive him, because 
they feared lest his connection with Pertinax might lead 
him to avenge him by some treachery. So they lowered a 
ladder and brought Julianus into the fortified camp; for 
they would not open the gates, until they had made sure 
of the amount of the bounty they expected. When he was 
admitted he promised first to bring the memory of Commo- 
dus again into honor ^ and restore his images in the Senate 
house, where they had been cast down ; and to give the 
soldiers the same lax discipline they had enjoyed under 
Commodus. Also he promised the troops as large a sum 
of money as they could ever expect to require or receive. 
The payment should be immediate, and he would at once 
have the cash brought over from his residence. 

[According to the other contemporary historian, Cassius 
Dio, Julianus and Sulpicianus now bid against another 
"one from within the camp, and one without." By their 
increases they speedily reached the sum of 4000 denarii ^ 
per man ; some of the guard kept reporting and saying to 
Julianus, " ' Sulpicianus offers so much ; now how much will 
you add to that ? ' And again to Sulpicianus, ' Julianus 
offers so much, how much will you raise it ? '" Sulpicianus 
seemed about to win the day, when Julianus advanced to 
6250 denarii ' " which he offered with a great shout, indi- 
cating the amount likewise upon his fingers," whereupon 
the troops accepted his bid.] 

Captivated by such speeches, and with such vast hopes 
awakened, the soldiers hailed Julianus as Emperor, and de- 

1 Commodus (Pertinax's predecessor) had been most popular with the 
pampered guards, though hated by the civilians. 

" About *800. 8 About $1000. 


manded that along with his own name he should take that 
of Coniinodus. Next they took their standards, adorned 
them again with the likeness of Commodus and made ready 
to go with Julianus in procession. 

The latter offered the customary imperial sacrifices in 
the camp ; and then went out with a great escort of the 
guards. For it was against the will and intention of the 
populace, and with a shameful and unworthy stain upon 
the public honor that he had bought the Empire, and not 
without reason did he fear the people might overthrow 
him. The guards therefore in full panoply surrounded him 
for protection. They were formed in a phalanx around 
him, ready to fight ; they had " their Emperor " in their 
midst ; while they swung their shields and lances over his 
head, so that no missile could hurt him during the march. 
Thus they brought him to the palace, with no man of the 
multitude daring to resist ; but just as little was there any 
cheer of welcome, as was usual at the induction of a new 
Emperor. On the contrary the people stood at a distance 
and hooted and reviled him as having bought the throne 
with lucre at an auction. 

[Didius Julianus held his ill-gotten power only from March 28th, 
193 A.D., to June 1st of the same year, being deposed and slain 
when Septimius Severus and the valiant Danube legions marched 
on Rome to avenge Pertinax. The ringleaders of the Praetorians 
were executed ; the rest of the guardsmen dishonorably discharged 
and banished from Italy.] 

72. How THE Goths devastated the Empiee in the 
Reign of Gallienus 

Jordanes, " History of the Goths," chap. 20. fflierow's Translation 

Under Gallienus (260 to 268 a.d.) the Empire was in des- 
perate straits and seemed on the eve of dissolution. Since 250 a.d. 
the Goths had been flinging their hordes over the Danube, and 


committing devastations which required decades of peace to repair. 
It is a tribute to the strength of the Empire that it did not perish 
in the third century a.d. 

While Gallienus was given over to luxurious living of 
every sort, Eespa, Veduc, and Thurixar, leaders of the Goths, 
took ship and sailed across ciie strait of the Hellespont to 
Asia. There they laid waste many populous cities and set 
fire to the renowned temple of Diana at Ephesus, which, as 
we [Jordanes] said before, the Amazons built. Being driven 
from the neighborhood of Bithynia they destroyed Chal- 
cedon, which Cornelius Avitus afterward restored to some 
extent. Yet even to-day, though it is happily situated near 
the royal city [Constantinople], it still shows some 
traces of its ruin as a witness to posterity. 

After their success the Goths recrossed the strait of the 
Hellespont, laden with booty and spoil, and returned along 
the same route by which they had entered the lands of Asia, 
sacking Troy and Ilium on the way. These cities, which 
had scarce recovered a little from the famous war of 
Agamemnon, were thus devastated anew by the hostile 
sword. After the Goths had thus devastated Asia, Thrace 
next felt their ferocity. 

[After continuing their havoc for a long time unchecked, they 
were at last expelled for more than a century, by the arms of 
Claudius II, AureUan, and Probus.] 


From Vopiscus, " Life of Aurelian " (in the " Augustan History ") 

During the disasters of the middle of the third century a.d. the 
Asiatic provinces of the Empire were nearly torn away, first by the 
Persians, then by the rulers of Palmyra, a thriving and powerful 
city situated upon an oasis in the Syrian desert. From 266 to 
273 A.D. the sovereign of this city and the " Queen of the East," was 
Zenobia, a woman 'of masculine courage and energy, who almost 


founded an Oriental empire to the detriment of Rome. From this 
dismemberment the Roman world was saved by the valor of the 
great Emperor Aurelian, who among his other conquests overcame 
Zenobia and destroyed Palmyra (273 A.D.), after no puny struggle. 

After taking Tyana 'and winning a small battle near 
Daphne, Aurelian took possession of Antioch, having prom- 
ised to grant pardon to all the inhabitants, and — acting on 
the counsel of the venerable Apollonius — he showed himself 
most humane and merciful. Next, close by Emessa, he gave 
battle to Zenobia and to her ally Zaba, — a great battle in 
which the very fate of the Empire hung in the issue. Al- 
ready the cavalry of Aurelian were weary, wavering, and 
about to take flight, when, by divine assistance, a kind of 
celestial apparition renewed their courage, and the infantry 
coming to the aid of the cavalry, they rallied stoutly. 
Zenobia and Zaba were defeated, and the victory [of 
Aurelian] was complete. Aurelian, thus made master of 
the East, entered Emessa' as conqueror. First of all he 
presented himself in the temple of Elagabalus, as if to dis- 
charge himself of an ordinary vow, — but there he beheld 
the same divine iigure which he had seen come to succour 
him during the battle. Therefore in that same place he 
consecrated some temples, with splendid presents ; he also 
erected in Rome a temple to the Sun, and consecrated it 
with great pomp. 

Afterward he marched on Palmyra, to end his labors by 
the taking of that city. The robber bands of Syria, how- 
ever, made constant attacks while his army was on the 
march ; and during the siege he was in great danger by 
being wounded by an arrow. 

Finally wearied and discouraged by his losses, Aurelian 
undertook to write to Zenobia, pledging her — if she would 
surrender, to preserve her life, — in the following letter. 

I A very sacred city, and a great seat ol the worship of the Syrian sun- 
god Elagabalus. 


" Aurelian, Emperor of Rome and ' Restorer of the Orient ' 
to Zenobia and those waging loar on her side. You should 
have done what I commanded you in my [former] letter. I 
promise you life if you surrender. You, Zenobia, can live 
with your family in the place which I will assign you upon 
the advice of the venerable Senate. You must deliver to the 
treasury of Rome your jewels, your silver, your gold, your 
robes of silk, your horses and your camels. The Palmyrenes, 
however, shall preserve their local rights." ^ 

Zenobia replied to this letter with a pride and boldness, 
not at all in accord with her fortune. For she imagined 
that she could intimidate him. 

" Zenobia, Queen of the East, to Aurelian Augustus. jSTo 
one, saving you, has ever required of me what you have in 
your letter. One ought in war to hearken only to the voice 
of courage. You demand that I surrender myself, as if you 
did not know that the Queen Cleopatra preferred to die 
rather than to live in any other save her [royal] station. 
The Persians do not abandon us, and we will wait their suc- 
cours. The Saracens and the Armenians are on our side. 
The brigands of Syria have defeated your army, Aurelian ; 
— what will it be when we have received the reenf orcements 
which come to us from all sides. You will lower then that 
tone with which you, — as if already full conqueror, — now 
bid me to surrender." 

On the reading of this letter the Emperor did not blush, 
yet he was angered, and at once assembling his army with 
his generals, and surrounding Palmyra on all sides, the 
great Emperor devoted his attention to everything; for he 
cut off the succours from the Persians, and corrupted the 
hordes of Saracens and Armenians, winning them over some- 
times by his severity, sometimes by his adroitness ; in brief, 
after many attacks, the valiant Queen was vanquished. Al- 

1 The genuineness of this letter and its answer has been questioned, but 
they certainly illustrate the true spirit both of Aurelian and of Zenobia. 


though she fled on camels by which she strove to reach the 
Persians, the cavalrymen sent in pursuit captured her, and 
brought her to Aurelian. 

The tumult of the soldiers — requiring that Zenobia be 
given up for punishment — was very violent ; but Aurelian 
conceived that it would be shameful to put to death a woman ; 
so he contented himself with executing most of those [men] 
who had fomented, prepared, and conducted this war, re- 
serving Zenobia to adorn his triumph and to feast the eyes 
of the Roman People. It is grievous that he must needs 
place in the number of those massacred the philosopher 
Louginus, who was, — it is said, — the master of Zenobia in 
the Greek tongue. It is alleged that Aurelian consented to 
his death because there was attributed to him that [afore- 
named] letter so full of offensive pride. 

It is seldom and even difficult that Syrians remain faith- 
ful. The Palmyrenes, who had been defeated and con- 
quered, seeing that Aurelian [had gone away and] was busy 
with the affairs of Europe, wished to give the power to one 
Achilleus, a kinsman of Zenobia, and stirred up a great 
revolt. They slew six hundred archers and Sandrion, 
whom Aurelian had left [as governor] in their region; but 
the Emperor, ever in arms, hastened back from Europe, and 
destroyed Palmyra, even as it deserved. 

[In his magnificent triumph, celebrated in Eome after 
Aurelian had conquered Tetricius, the usurping " Emperor 
of Gaul," and other enemies,] Zenobia was led in procession, 
exposed to public view, adorned with jewels, and .loaded 
with chains of gold [so heavy that] some of her guards had 
to hold them up for her. [Later, however, she was treated 
with great humanity, granted a palace near Eome, and 
spent her last days in peace and luxury.] 


This is naturally a wide topic. For no other period of antiquity- 
have we so much illuminating material as for the two centuries 
following the battle of Actium. The result is that we can enter 
into the life, thoughts, habits, philosophy of the typical " man of 
the Empire" as is impossible when we come to periods much 
nearer chronologically to our own. In many of its phases, — its 
vast private fortunes, its teeming cities, its swarming commerce, 
and the refinements and artificiality of its general life, — the " Im- 
perial Age " reminds us much of the twentieth century. There is 
no need to dwell here on the divergencies — caused usually by the 
presence of slavery and the absence of Christianity. Probably 
men never came nearer to being able to " fleet the time carelessly 
as they do in the golden world," than did the upper classes in 
Italy during the reigns of the better Emperors. 

The picture is given a clearer setting when one remembers how, 
■while the "Eternal Empire" seemed daily growing mightier, 
while wealth, intellect, and inherited nobility seemed never more 
secure of holding their preeminence, silent social forces were at 
work which 'Were to undermine, the whole glittering fabric, and 
small bands of "insane" worshipers of a crucified malefactor in 
Judea were preparing for the mightiest intellectual and religious 
revolution the world has ever seen. 

Although this chapter is necessarily long, it needs little in- 
troduction. With the use of his general knowledge of the political 
history, the student should sift and understand the various 
extracts given. Thus focussed, the scattered pictures wiU at 
length come together into a comprehensive panorama, and an 
insight win be gained alike into the glory and the rottenness of 
" Imperial Kome." 



74, A Debate in the Senate in Impekial Times 

Pliny the Younger, " Letters," book II, letter 11. Firth's Translation 

The letter here presented from the correspondence of Pliny the 
Younger wiU give a fairly clear idea of a typical debate in the 
Senate during the reign of Trajan, and also of the extortions prac- 
ticed by Roman governors upon the provincials. It ought to be 
said that compared with Republican times such malfeasance in 
office was comparatively and honorably rare. The Emperors, as a 
rule, punished oppressive subordinates with a heavy hand, if for 
no other reason than that it paid to keep the provincials contented. 
Africa, which Prisons here named had ruled, was under the direct 
control of the Senate, not of the Emperor, and so more exposed to 
lax administration. 

Marias Priscus, on being accused by the people of Africa 
whom he had ruled as proconsul, declined to defend him- 
self before the Senate, and asked to have judges appointed 
to hear the case. Cornelius Tacitus [the great historian] 
and myself were instructed to appear [as advocates] for the 
provincials, and we came to the conclusion that we were 
bound in honesty to our clients to notify the Senate that the 
charges of inhumanity and cruelty against Priscus were too 
serious to be heard by ordinary judges, inasmuch as he was 
accused of taking bribes to condemn and even to put to death 
innocent men. 

[After considerable debate the Senate ordered that the case 
should be taken up temporarily by the judges, but that the 
bribe givers should be summoned to Rome.] So these wit- 
nesses came to Rome, — Vitellius Honoratus and Flavins Mar- 
tianus. Honoratus was charged with bribing Priscus to the 
tune of 300,000 sesterces to exile a Roman eques and put 
seven of his [non-noble] friends to death. Martiauus was 
accused of giving Priscus 700,000 sesterces to sentence one 
Roman eques to still more grievous punishment — for he was 
beaten with rods, condemned to the mines, and then stran- 

iooa.d.] debate in the senate 213 

gled in prison. Honoratus — luckily for him — escaped the 
investigation of the Senate by dying. Martianus was 
brought before the Senate when Prisons was not present 
[and the case was postponed until the next meeting of the 
Senate when it came up for disposal]. 

A very august assembly it was ! The Emperor [Trajan] 
presided in his capacity as consul ; besides, the month of 
January brings crowds of people to Eome, especially Sena- 
tors ; ^ besides the importance of the case and its notoriety 
— increased by the very delays that had occurred — and the 
ingrained curiosity of all men to know all details of some- 
thing very important, had made everybody flock to Rome 
from all quarters. You can imagine how nervous and anx- 
ious we were in having to speak in such a gathering, and in 
the presence of the Emperor on such an important case. 

However, as soon as I had pulled myself together and 
collected my thoughts, I began my address, and though 
I was nervous, I was on the best of terms with my audi- 
ence. I spoke for nearly five hours,^ for, besides the 
twelve water clocks — the biggest I could get — which 
had been assigned me, I obtained four others. And as 
things turned out, everything I had feared beforehand 
would prove an obstacle to a good speech, really helped 

Claudius Marcellinus answered me in behalf of Martianus 
[one of the co-defendants], then the Senate was dismissed 
and met again on the next day ; for there was no time 
to begin a fresh speech, as it would have been broken 
off by the fall of night. On the following day Salvias 
Liberalis, a man of shrewd wit, careful in the arrangement 
of his speeches, with a pointed style and a fund of learning, 
spoke for Prisons, and in his speech he certainly brought 

1 Pliny would imply that in the summer months the Senate meetings 
were often very thin. 

* The Conscript Fathers were patient listeners I 


out all that he knew. Cornelius Tacitus replied to him 
in a wonderfully eloquent address, marked by that lofty 
dignity which is the chief charm of his oratory. Then 
Fronto Catius made another speech on Priscus's , behalf, 
and he spent more time -in appeals for mercy than in 
rebutting evidence — as befited the part of the case he 
had to deal with. Nightfall halted his speech, but did not 
break it off altogether, and so the proceedings lasted over 
into the third day. This was quite fine, and just as it 
used to be, for the Senate to be interrupted by nightfall, 
and for the members to be called upon to sit for three days 

Cornutus Tertullus, the consul-designate, a man of high 
character, and a devoted champion of justice, gave as his 
opinion that the seven hundred thousand sesterces that 
Priscus had received should be confiscated to the Treasury ; 
that Priscus should be banished from Eome and Italy, and 
Martianus [the bribe giver] should be banished from Rome, 
Italy, and Africa.* Toward the end of his speech, he added 
that the Senate felt that, since Tacitus and I, who had been 
summoned to plead for the provincials, had fulfilled our 
duties with diligence and fearlessness, we had acted in a 
manner worthy of the commission intrusted to us. The 
other consul-designate agreed, and all the consulars^ did 
likewise, until it was Pompeius CoUega's turn to speak. 

lie moved that the money received by Priscus be confis- 
cated for the Treasury ; that Martianus should be banished 
for five years [only], and Priscus should suffer no other 
penalty than that for extortion [i.e. the loss of his dignities] 
which had been already passed on him. Opinion was much 
divided, and perhaps there was a majority in favor of [this] 
less severe proposal — for even some who had supported 

1 MaHianus had evidently a business residence in Africa — so this was 
a heavy penalty for him. 

2 Ex-consuls. 


Cornutus changed sides, and seemed ready to vote for 
Collega, wlio had spoken after them. But when the House 
divided, those who stood near the seats of the consuls '■ be- 
gan to cross to the side of Cornutus. Then those who were 
allowing themselves to be counted as supporters of Collega 
also crossed over. He was with a mere handful of votes. 
Later he complained bitterly of those who led him into his 
proposal, especially of Eegulus,'' who failed to support the 
measure he himself had suggested [should be made]. But 
Eegulus is a fickle fellow, rash to a degree, yet a great 
coward to boot. 

75. The Coekespondbnce of a Provincial Goveestoe 


Pliny the Younger, " Letters," book X, letters 25 ff. Firth's Translation 

About 112 A.D. Trajan appointed Pliny the Younger, a dis- 
tinguished Senator and literary man, as governor of Bithynia — 
a province suffering from previous maladministration. The nature 
of the governor's problems and the obligation he was under of re- 
ferring very petty matters to the Emperor appears clearly in the 
following letters. This correspondence of Trajau and Pliny (given 
here only in small part) is among the most valuable bits of 
historical data we have for the whole Imperial Age. 

Pliny to Trajan : 

The people of Prusa, Sire, have a public bath in a neglected 
and delapidated state. They wish — with your kind per- 
mission — to restore it ; but I think a new one ought to be 
built, and I reckon you can safely comply with their wishes. 

[Then the governor names various ways to find the money, 
especially cutting down the fi'ee distribution of oil.] 

1 I.e. the Senators most in honor. 

2 A wealthy, but very unscrupulous, lawyer and advocate, whom Pliny 
legarded with especial aversion. 


Trajan to Pliny : 

If the building of a new bath will not cripple the finances 
of Prusa, we can indulge their wishes; only it must be 
understood that no new taxes are to be raised to meet the 
cost, and that their contributions for necessary expenses 
shall not show any falling off. 

Fliny to Trajan : 

A desolating fire broke out in Mcomedia, and destroyed 
a number of private houses, and two public buildings — the 
almshouse and the temple of Isis — although a road ran be- 
tween them. The fire was allowed to spread farther than 
it need, first owing to the violent wind; second, to the 
laziness of the citizei^s, it being generally agreed they stood 
idly by without moving, and simply watched the conflagra- 
tion. Besides there was not a single public fire engine or 
bucket in the place, and not one solitary appliance for 
mastering a fire. However, these will be provided upon 
orders I have already given. But, Sire, I would have you 
consider whether you think a fire company of about 150 
men ought not to be formed ? I wiU take care that no one 
not a genuine fireman shall be admitted, and that the guild 
should not misapply the charter granted it. Again there 
would be no trouble in keeping an eye on so small a body. 

Trajan to Pliny: 

You have formed the idea of a possible tire company at 
Nicomedia on the model of various others already existing ; 
but remember that the province of Bithynia, and especially 
city states like Nicomedia, are the prey of factions. Give 
them the name we may, and however good be the reasons 
for organization, such associations will soon degenerate into 
[dangerous] secret societies. It is better policy to provide 
fire apparatus, and to encourage property holders to make 
use of them, and if need comes, press the crowd which 
collects into the same service. 


Pliny to Trajan : 

Sire, the people of Mcomedia spent 3,229,000 sesterces 
[about f 130,000] upon an aqueduct, which was left in an 
unfinished state, and I may say in ruin, and they also 
levied taxes to the extent of 2,000,000 ses. [$80,000] for a 
second one. This, too, has been abandoned, and to get a 
water supply those who have wasted these vast sums must 
go to a new expense. I have visited a splendid clear spring, 
from which it seems to me the supply ought to be brought 
to the town [and have formed a scheme that seems practi- 

Trajan to Pliny :. 

Steps must certainly be taken to provide Nicomedia with 
a water supply ; and I have full confidence you will under- 
take the duty with all due care. But I profess it is also 
part of your diligent duty to find out who is to blame for 
the waste of such sums of money by the people of Nicomedia 
on their aqueducts, and whether or no there has been any 
serving of private interests in this beginning and then 
abandoning of [public] works. See that you bring to my 
knowledge whatever you find out. 

Pliny to Trajan : 

The theater at Nicsea, Sire, the greater part of which 
has already been constructed — though it is still unfinished 

— has already cost over 10,000,000 sesterces [$400,000]; 

— at least so I am told, for the accounts have not been 
made out ; and I am fearful lest the money has been thrown 
away. For the building has sunk and there are great gaping 
crevi<ies to be seen, either because the ground is damp, or 
owing to the [bad quality] of the stone. [It is doubtful if 
the affair is worth completing.] Just before I came the 
Nicaeans also began to restore the public gymnasium, which 
had been destroyed by fire, on a larger scale than the old 


building, and they have already disbursed a considerable 
sum thereon, and I fear to little purpose [for it is very ill 
constructed]. Moreover the architect — the rival, to he 
sure, of the man who began the work — asserts that the 
walls, although twenty-two feet thick cannot bear the 
weight placed upon them, because they have not been put 
together with cement in the middle and have not been 
strengthened with brickwork. [At Claudiopolis too the 
public money, it seems, is being wasted on some vast public 
baths. What is Pliny to dp in both cases ?] 

Trajan to Pliny : 

You are the best judge of what to do at Nicsea. It will 
be enough for me to be informed of the plan you adopt. 
All Greek peoples have a passion for gymnasia, so perhaps 
the people of Nicsea have set about building one on a rather 
lavish scale, but they must be content to cut their coat ac- 
cording to their cloth. You again must decide what advice 
to give the people of Claudiopolis. 

Pliny to Trajan : 

When I asked for a statement of the expenditures of the 
city of Byzantium — which are abnormally high — it was 
pointed out to me, Sire, that a delegate was sent every year 
with a complimentary decree to pay his respects to you, and 
that he received 12,000 sesterces [$480] for so doing. 
Remembering your instructions [I ordered him to stay at 
home and to forward the decree by me] in order to lighten 
the expenses. [I beg you to tell whether I have done 

Trajan to Pliny : 

You have done quite right, my dear Pliny, in canceling 
the expenditure of the Byzantines ... for that delegate. . . . 
They will in the future do their duty well enough, even 
though the decree alone is sent me through you. 


Pliny to Trajan : 

Sire, a person named Julius Largus of Pontus, whom I 
have never seen or heard of before, has intrusted me with 
the management of his property with which he seeks to 
prove his loyalty to you. For he has asl^ed me in his will 
to undertake as heir the division of his property, and after 
keeping 50,000 sesterces [$2000], hand over all the remain- 
der to the free cities of Heraclea and Teos. He leaves it to 
my discretion whether I think it better to erect public 
works and dedicate them to your glory, or to start an 
athletic festival, to be held every live years, and to be called 
the "Trajan Games." I have decided to lay the facts 
before you [and ask your decision]. 

Trajan to Pliny : 

Julius Largus, in picking you out for your trustworthi- 
ness, has acted as though he knew you intimately. So do 
you consider the circumstances of each place, and the best 
means of perpetuating his memory, and follow the course 
you think best. 

Pliny's Dealings with the Cliristians 
Pliny to Trajan : '■ 

It is my custom. Sire, to refer to you in all cases where I 
am in doubt, for who can better clear up difficulties and 
inform me ? I have never been present at any legal exami- 
nation of the Christians, and I do not know, therefore, what 
are the usual penalties passed upon them, or the limits of 
those penalties, or how searching an inquiry should be 
made. I have hesitated a great deal in considering whether 
any distinctions should be drawn according to the ages of 

I This letter about the Christians is of unique value. It proves clearly 
that in Pliny's time the Christians in Asia Minor were decidedly numerous, 
and it sets forth some o( the difficulties the government confronted in 
dealing with them. 


the accused; whether the weak should be punished as 
severely as the more robust, or whether the man who has 
once been a Christian gained anything by recanting? 
[Again] whether the name [of being a Christian], even 
though otherwise innocent of crime, should be punished, or 
only the crimes that gather around it ? 

In the meantime, this is the plan which I have adopted 
in the case of those Christians who have been brought 
before me. I ask them whether they are Christians, if 
they say " Yes," then I repeat the question the second time, 
and also a third — warning them of the penalties involved; 
and if they persist, I order them away to prison. For I do 
not doubt that — be their admitted crime what it may — 
their pertinacity and inflexible obstinacy surely ought to be 

There were others who showed similar mad folly, whom 
I reserved to be sent to Eome, as they were Roman citizens. 
Later, as is commonly the case, the mere fact of my enter- 
taining the question led to a multiplying of accusations and 
a variety of cases were brought before me. An anonymous 
pamphlet was issued,^ containing a number of names [of 
alleged Christians]. Those who denied that they were 
or had been Christians and called upon the gods with 
the usual formula, reciting the words after me, and those 
who offered incense and wine before your image — which I 
had ordered to be brought forward for this purpose, along 
with the [regular] statues of the gods, — all such I consid- 
ered acquitted, — especially as they cursed the name of 
Christ, which it is said bona fide Christians cannot be in- 
duced to do. 

Still others there were, whose names were supplied by an 

informer. These first said they were Christians, then denied 

it, insisting they had been, " but were so no longer " ; some 

of them having " recanted many years ago," and more than 

1 Probably the work of the Pagan priests. 


one " full twenty years back." These all worshiped your 
image and the god's statues and cursed the name of Christ. 

But they declared their guilt or error was simply this — 
on a fixed day they used to meet before dawn and recite a 
hymn among themselves to Christ, as though he were a god. 
So far from binding themselves by oath to commit any 
crime, they swore to keep from theft, robbery, adultery, 
breach of faith, and not to deny any trust money deposited 
with them when called upon to deliver it. This ceremony 
over, they used to depart and meet again to take food — but 
it was of no special character, and entirely harmless.^ They 
[also] had ceased from this practice after the edict [I 
issued] — by which, in accord with your orders, I forbade 
all secret societies. 

I then thought it the more needful to get at the facts be- 
hind their statements. Therefore I placed two women, 
called " deaconesses,'' under torture, but I found only a de- 
based superstition carried to great lengths,'' so I postponed 
my examination, and immediately consulted you. This 
seems a matter worthy of your [prompt] consideration, 
especially as so many people are endangered. Many of all 
ages and both sexes are put in peril of their lives by their 
accusers; and the process will go on, for the contagion of 
this superstition has spread not merely through the free 
towns, but into the villages and farms. Still I think it can 
be halted and things set right. Beyond any doubt, the 
temples — which were nigh deserted — are beginning again 
to be thronged with worshipers; the sacred rites, which 
long have lapsed, are now being renewed, and tho food for 
the sacrificial victims is again finding a sale — though up to 
recently it had almost no market. So one can safely infer 

1 Christians were accused of fearful orgies and cannibalism. 

2 Note tlie irony of this statement. We know that Pliny was a high- 
minded, honorable, and kindly man, who would surely have found a vast 
deal to commend in Christianity — if he had truly understood it. 


how vast numbers could be reclaimed, if only there were a 
chance given for repentance. 

Trajan to Pliny: 

You have adopted the right course, my dear Pliny, in 
examining the cases of those cited before you as Christians ; 
for no hard and fast rule can be laid down covering such a 
wide question. The Christians are not to be hunted out. 
If brought before you, and the offense is proved, they are 
to be punished, but with this reservation — if any one denies 
he is a Christian, and makes it clear he is not, by offering 
prayer to our gods, then he is to be pardoned on his recantar 
tion, no matter how suspicious his past. As for anonymous 
pamphlets, they are to be discarded absolutely, whatever 
crime they may charge, for they are not only a precedent of 
a very bad type, but they do not accord with the spirit of 
our age. 

76. A Business Panic in Eome 

Tacitas, " Annals," book VI, chaps. 16-17. Church and Broadrib's 

In 33 A.D. opcurred a direful business panic in Borne, which 
probably caused far more stir than the report — very likely that 
year — of a petty outbreak in Judaea against the procurator Pontius 
Pilate. A careful study of the story will reveal a good deal as to 
business conditions at Rome, the state of the currency, the laws 
as to the taking of interest, etc. 

[At this time, 3.3 a.d.] a powerful host of accusers fell 
with sudden fury on the class which systematically in- 
creased its wealth by usury in defiance of the law of Caesar 
the Dictator, defining the terms of lending money, and of 
holding estates in Italy, a law long obsolete because the 
public good is sacrificed to private interest. The curse of 
usury was indeed of old standing in Eorae, and a most fre- 
quent cause of sedition and discord, and it was therefore 


repressed even in the early days of a less corrupt morality. 
, [Various laws were enacted to check it.] On this occasion, 
however, Gracchus the praetor, to whose jurisdiction the 
inquiry had fallen, felt himself compelled by the number 
of persons endangered to refer the matter to the Senate. 
In their dismay, the Senators, not one of whom was free 
from similar guilt, threw themselves on the Emperor's 
indulgence. He yielded, and a year and six months was 
granted — within which every one was to settle his private 
accounts conformably to the requirements of the law. 

Hence followed a scarcity of money, a great shock being 
given to all credit, the current coin too, — in consequence of 
the conviction of so many persons, and the sale of their 
property, — being locked up in the imperial Treasury or the 
public exchequer. To meet this, the Senate had directed 
that every creditor should have two thirds of his capital 
secured on estates in Italy. Creditors, however, were suing 
for payment in full, and it was not respectable for persons 
when sued to break faith. So, at first, there were clamorous 
meetings and importunate entreaties ; then noisy applica- 
tions to the praetor's court. And the very device intended 
as a remedy, the sale and purchase of estates, proved the 
contrary, as the usurers had hoarded up all their money for 
the buying of land. 

The facilities for selling were followed by a fall in prices, 
and the deeper a man was in debt, the more reluctantly did 
he part with his property, and many were utterly ruined. 
The destruction of private wealth precipitated the fall of 
rank and reputation; till at last the Emperor interposed 
his aid by distributing throughout the banks 100,000,000 
sesterces [$4,000,000], and allowing freedom to borrow 
without interest for three years, provided the borrower gave 
security to the state in laud to double the amount. Credit 
was thus restored, and gradually private lenders were 
found. The purchase, too, of estates was not carried out, 


according to the letter of the Senate's decree, rigor at the 
outset, as usual with such matters, becoming negligent in 
the end. 

77 Summary of some Benefactions to Roman Cities 
BY Private Individuals 

Summarized from Durny, " History of Rome " 

The Imperial Age was one of great benevolence if we are willing 
to give that name to acts of generosity which were often too showy 
and ostentatious to merit the highest praise. The cases here 
cited are nearly all (except that of Pliny) based upon the evidence 
of inscriptions. 

Ummidia Quadratilla built at Casinum an amphitheater 
and a temple. 

Secundus at Bordeaux built an aqueduct costing 2,000,000 
ses [$80,000]. 

Perigrinus [a character in Lucian] is represented as giv- 
ing during his lifetime his whole property, 30 talents, to 
his native city. 

Crinas of Marseilles expended 10,000,000 sesterces 
[$400,000] in rebuilding the walls of that city. 

The two brothers Stertinus • gave a still larger sum than 
the last for erecting public buildings in their native Naples. 

Hiero gave 2000 talents [over $2,000,000] to Laodicea, 
his native town. 

The younger Pliny spent on his native town of Como, 
11,000,000 ses. [$440,000], though by no means a very rich 
man. He founded a library, a school, and a charity insti- 
tute for poor children; also a temple to Ceres, with spacious 
porticoes to shelter tradespeople who came to the fair held 
in honor of that goddess. His grandfather had already built 

1 One of these men was a famous physician who boasted that he gained 
600,000 ses. ($24,000) by yearly fees. 


for the town a costly portico, and provided the money for 
decorating the city gates. 

[Like instances of civic spirit and benevolence could he multi- 
plied ad infinitum.] 

78. Martial on Phases of Life in Rome 

Martial, " Epigrams, " book IX, 3. Bohn Translation 

In the reign of Domitian the capital was utterly overrun by 
a discordant, heterogeneous multitude of foreigners, making the 
city resemble New York or Chicago of to-day, and almost swamping 
the old ItaUan element. The courtly poet seizes the fact to pay a 
compliment to the Emperor. 

What race is so distant from us, what race is so barbar- 
ous, Ceesar, that from it no spectator is present in thy 
city! The cultivator of Rhodope^ is here from Hsemus^ 
[sacred to] Orpheus. The Scythian who drinks the blood 
of his horses is here ; he, too, who quaffs the waters of the 
Nile nearest their springing; and he also whose shore is 
laved by the most distant ocean. The Arabian has hastened 
hither ; the Sabaeans have hastened ; and here the Cilicians 
have anointed themselves with their own native perfume. 
Here come the Sicambrians with their hair all twisted into a 
knot, and here the frizzled Ethiopians. Yet though their 
speech is all so different, they all speak together hailing 
thee [O Emperor] as the true father of thy country. 

[Rome had her great shopping district (mainly on streets lead- 
ing into the Forum), and seemingly her " department stores " ; also 
her class of inveterate shoppers, as Martial here testifies. {Epi- 
grams, IX, 49.)] 

Mamurra, after having walked long and anxiously in the 
bazaars where golden Rome proudly displayed her riches, 
examined the handsome young slaves, yes devoured them 
1 High mountains in Xlirace. 


with his eyes — not those slaves exposed in the open shops, 
but those kept for [sale to] select people in private rooms, 
and are not exhibited to common folk, such as I. Tired of 
this inspection he uncovers various tables, square ones and 
round; next asks to see some rich ivory ornaments dis- 
played on the upper shelves. Then, after four times 
measuring a dinner couch for six guests, all adorned as it 
was with tortoise shell, he regretted sorrowfully " that it 
was not big enough for his citron wood table." He consulted 
his nose to find out if the bronzes had the true Corinthian 
aroma, and criticized some statues by Polycletus ! Next, 
complaining that some crystal vases had been spoiled by 
mixing in glass, he marked and had set aside ten myrrhine 
cups. He weighed ancient bowls, and inquired for goblets 
that had been ennobled by the hand of Mentor. He counted 
emeralds set in chased gold, and examined the largest pearl 
ear-pendants. He sought on every counter for real sar- 
donyxes, and cheapened some large jaspers. At last, when 
forced by fatigue to retire, at the eleventh hour he bought 
two small cups for one ■small coin and bore them home 

[What a modest dinner party ought to be like is thus expounded. 
(^Epigrams, X, 48.)] 

The priesthood of Isis proclaim the eighth hour,* and the 
guard with their javelins march back to quarters. Now 
the warm baths have reached the right temperature; an 
hour before they exhaled a dreadful excess of steam; at 
noon the baths of Nero had been insufferably hot. Stella, 
Nepos, Canius, Cerialis, Flaccus, areyoa coming to dine with 
me? The dinner couch holds seven, we are only six: — 

1 Anybody of real gentility would at least have had a slave to carry 
his purchases. 

2 Two o'clock. The hours seem to have been called off at the Temple 
of Isis. 


so add Lupus. My bailiff's wife has brought me mallows 
to aid digestion, and other treasures of the garden, lettuce, 
sliced leeks, and mint ; slices of egg shall crown anchovies 
dressed with rue; and there shall be sows' teats swimming 
in tunny sauce. These will serve as whets to our appetite. 
My little dinner will be put on the table at once. There 
will be a kid snatched from the jaws of a hungry wolf; 
that will be nice tidbits that do not need to be carved ; 
there will be haricot beans, and young cabbages. To these 
a chicken will be added ; and a ham that has already graced 
the table thrice. For dessert I will give ripe fruits, wine 
from a Nomentan flagon [of a choice old vintage]. All 
shall be seasoned with mirth free from bitterness ; there 
shall be no license of speech that brings repentance on the 
morrow, and nothing shall be said that we would wish 
unsaid.' But my guests may talk of the rival factions of 
the circus, and my cups shall make no man guilty [of in- 

79. How Horace got an Education 

Horace, "Satires," book I, 6, 11. 70-90. Adapted from the Bohn Transla- 

During the later Republic and Early Empire the craving for a 
good education was probably more prevalent than in any other age, 
barring the present. Even the lower classes were not usually 
Uhterate (witness the numerous wall scribblings at Pompeii), al- 
though there was no system of free public schools. What one 
father did to give his son all possible advantages is told in this 
noble and touching tribute by Horace. 

If I dare venture to speak in my own praise, and say that 

I live undefiled, innocent, and dear to my friends, let me 

confess that I owe all this to my father. A poor man he 

was, and on a lean farm, yet he was not content to send me 

1 I.e. vain talk on political matters which might he seized upon by 
professional " accusers " [delatores'] for ruinous prosecutions. 


to a local school [at Venusia, his home town] under the 
pedant Flavins, though boys of pretensions, sons of promi- 
nent centurions, went there with their school bags and writ- 
ing tablets slung over their left arms, and carrying their 
teacher the fee in their hands on the Ides of eight months 
in the year.* On the contrary, he had the spirit to bring 
me even as a child to Rome, to be taught those liberal arts 
which a senator or eques requires for his children. If any 
one had seen my dress and the slaves that attended me in 
the big city, he would have guessed that I was maintained 
by some hereditary estate. My father — most faithful of 
guardians — was ever present at all my studies.^ Why 
need I say more ? He preserved my modesty (the first 
point of virtue) not merely untainted, but free from the 
very rumor of taint. He was not afraid lest any one should 
reproach him [for giving an education to a son] who turned 
out to be an auctioneer, or as my father was, a taxgatherer. 
I should not then have complained. But all the more is 
praise due to him, and from me the greater gratitude. As 
long as I keep my senses I will never be ashamed of such a 
father, nor apologize for my [humble] birth as do so many, 
asserting "it is no fault of theirs." 

80. How Pliny endowed a Schooii 

Pliny the Younger, "Letters," booklV, letter 13. Firth's Translation 

The following letter by Pliny to the famous historian Tacitus is 
witness to the interest taken in education under the Empire. The 
school here mentioned was, of course, not a mere primary school, — 
that existed surely already at Comum, — but one of the higher 
learning. Pliny's munificence was by no means unique. Prob- 

1 Roman schoolmasters were paid usually once per month for the eight 
months par year that school was kept. 

2 He did not let his son fall into the care of an irresponsible slave ped- 


ably in no other age was so mucli money donated by wealthy men for 
education, — especially in their home towns, — until recently in 

[This letter contains a request] let me tell you why I ask 
it. When I was last in. my native district [Comum, North 
Italy] a son of a fellow townsman of mine, a youth under 
age, came to pay his respects to me. I said to him, " Do you 
keep up your studies ? " " Yes," he answered. " Where ? " 
I asked. " At Milan," was the reply. " But why not 
here ? " I pressed. Then the lad's father, who was with him, 
. . . said, " Because we have no teachers here." " How is 
that ? " I asked. " It is a matter of urgent importance to 
you who are fathers," and it so chanced that luckily quite 
a number of fathers were listening to me,^ "that your 
children should get their education here at home." 

"For where can they pass their time so pleasantly as in 
their native town, where can they be brought up so virtuously 
as under their parent's eyes ; or so inexpensively as at home ? 
If you put your money together, you could hire teachers at 
a trifling cost, and you could add to their stipends the sum 
you now spend on your son's lodgings and travel money — 
no small sum. I have no children of my own, still, in the 
interests of the community — which I may consider as my 
child or my parent — I am ready to contribute a third part of 
what you may decide to club together upon. I would even 
promise the whole sum if I did not fear that if I did so, my 
generosity might be corrupted to serve private interests, as 
I see is the case in many places where teachers are employed 
at the public charge. There is only one way of preventing 
the evil, and that is by leaving the right of employing the 
teachers to the parents alone, who will be careful to make 
a right choice if they are obliged to find [part of] the 

1 We may imagine the conversation taking place in a crowded atrium, 
where many provincial gentlemen had come to pay respects to their very 
distinguished townsman. Pliny was consul in 100 a.d. 


money.^ You cannot make your children a better present' 
than this, nor can you do your place a better turn." 

And now [my friend Tacitus] since this is a serious matter, 
I beg you to look out for some teachers among the throng 
of learned men who gather around you, whom we can sound 
on the matter, but not in such a way as to pledge ourselves 
to employ any of them. For I wish to give the parents a 
perfectly free hand. They must judge and choose for 
themselves : I have only a sympathetic interest and a share 
in the cost. So if you find any one who thinks himself 
capable, let him go to Comum, but on the express under- 
standing that he builds upon no certainty beyond his con- 
fidence in himself. Farewell. 

81. Flogging Schoolmasters at Eome 
Martial, " Epigiams," book X, 62. Adapted from Bohn Translation 

That the Roman schoolmasters, no less than their Greek prede- 
cessors, relied on the scourge to quicken slow wits is shown in 
the following from this writer of the end of the first century a.d. 

Sir Schoolmaster — show pity upon your simple scholars, 
at least if you wish to have many a long-haired boy attend- 
ant upon your lectures, and the class seated around your 
critical table love you. Then would no teacher of arith- 
metic or swift writing^ have a greater ring of pupils around 
him. Hot and bright are the days now under the flaming 
constellation of the lion ; and fervid July is ripening the 
bursting harvest. So let your Scythian scourge with its 
dreadful thongs, such as flogged Marsyas of Celaense,* and 
your formidable cane — the schoolmaster's scepter — be laid 
aside, and sleep until the Ides of October. Surely in sum- 
mer time, if the boys keep their health, they do enough. 

1 Pliny is evidently thinking of Roman towns where the schools had 
"gone into politics " with the usual unhappy results. 
^ A kind of shorthand. 
' Who rashly challenged Apollo to a flute contest. 


82. contempoeaet testimony to the grkeatnsss and 
Beneficence of the Roman Empire 

Collected in Duruy, "History of Rome," vol. VI 

There is a wealth of evidence that from the days of Augustus 
down, say, to the death of Alexander Severus (235 a.d.) the Roman 
Empire was regarded as an almost unqualified success. This is 
true not merely of the ruling classes, but especially true with the 
provincials ; indeed for long the latter, who were the direct benefici- 
aries of the law, order, and good government brought by the Caesars, 
were far more enthusiastic about the Imperial regime than the 
lordly senatorial families which had been omnipotent in the days 
of the Republic. 

Plutarch speaks of Rome, though a firm admirer himself 
of conquered Greece, as " a sacred and beautiful goddess," 
and again, as "the firm anchor which stops and holds 
securely all things human in the midst' of the whirlwind 
by which they are driven." 

Aristeides the Orator, writing in the reig^n of Antoninus 
Pius, thus apostropbizes the Roman power, "Men have laid 
off their iron armor to put on festal garments, and your 
provinces are covered with rich cities, jewels of your Em- 
pire, which glitter like the costly necklace of a rich matron. 
Tour land is but one immense garden." 

Tertullian (a strict Christian, and no friendly critic of 
Pagan power) thus speaks of the empire, writing about 
200 A.D. (De Anima, 30) : " The world is every day better 
known, better cultivated and more wealthy. The roads 
are open to commerce. The deserts are changed into fruit- 
ful domains ; agriculture is pursued where once rose forests ; 
sowing, where once could be seen only barren rocks. Drained 
are the marshes. No more do the flocks fear the wild beast. 
No longer is there any island to fill men with horror ; no 
rocks to strike them with fear. Everywhere there are 
houses, people, cities. Everywhere there is life ! " 


Appian, the second-century historian, says less rhetori- 
cally on the same subject (Praef., 6) : " For two hundred 
years this imperial system has lasted. In that period the 
city [of Rome] has been adorned in a marvelous manner, 
the revenues of the Empire have been increased, and by the 
blessing of continual peace the [provincial] peoples have 
attained to the height of happiness." 

A maxim of the Emperor Tiberius well illustrates the 
attitude of the imperial government, touching the taxation 
of the provincials, " A good shepherd shears his sheep, but 
does not flay them." 

83. The Gkeat Buildings in Komb about 75 a.d. 

PUny the Elder, " Natural History," book XXXVI, chap. 24. Bohn 

We have this description, written about 75 a.d., of some of 
the remarkable buildings and other public works at Eome, which 
made the city unrivaled in Antiquity, and venerable and wonder- 
ful to-day. 

[In great buildings] as well as in other things the rest 
of the world has been outdone by us Romans. If, indeed, 
all the buildings in our City are considered in the aggregate, 
and supposing them — so to say — all thrown together in 
one vast mass, the united grandeur of them would lead 
one to imagine that we were describing another world, 
accumulated in a single spot. 

Not to mention among our great works the Circus Max- 
imus, that was built by the Dictator Caesar — one stadium 
broad and three in length — and occupying with the ad- 
jacent buildings no less than four jugera [about 2^ acres] 
with room for no less than 160,000 spectators seated, — am 
I not, however, to include in the number of our magnificent 
structures the Basilica of Paulus with its admirable Phry- 
gian columns [built also in Julius Caesar's day], the 


Forum of the late Emperor Augustus, the Temple of Peace 
erected by the Emperor Vespasian Augustus — some of 
the finest work the world has ever seen ? [and many 
others] . 

We behold with admiration pyramids that were built 
by kings, while the very ground alone that was purchased 
by the Dictator Caesar, for the construction of his Eorum, 
cost 100,000,000 sesterces [14,000,000]. If, too, an enor- 
mous expenditure has its attractions for any one whose 
mind is influenced by money matters, be it known that 
the house in which Clodius [Cicero's enemy] dwelt . . . 
was purchased by him at a price of 14,800,000 sesterces 
[$592,000] — a thing which I for my part look upon as 
no less astonishing than the monstrous follies that have 
been displayed by kings. 

[Frequently praise is given to the great sewer system 
of Rome.] There are seven " rivers " made to flow, by 
artificial channels, beneath the city. Rushing onward like 
so many impetuous torrents, they are compelled to carry 
off and sweep away all the sewerage ; and swollen as they 
are by the vast accession of the rain water, they reverberate 
against the sides and bottoms of their channels. Occasion- 
ally too the Tiber, overflowing, is thrown backward in its 
course, and discharges itself by these outlets. Obstinate 
is the struggle that ensues between the meeting tides, but 
so firm and solid is the masonry that it is able to offer an 
effectual resistance. Enormous as are the accumulations 
that are carried along above, the work of the channels 
never gives way. Houses falling spontaneously to ruins, 
or leveled with the ground by conflagrations are continu- 
ally battering against them; now and then the ground is 
shaken by earthquakes, and yet — built as they were in 
the days of Tarquinius Prisons, seven hundred years ago — 
these constructions have survived, all but unharmed. 

[ Passing to the dwellings of the city J in the consulship 


of Lepidus and Catulus [78 b.c] we learn on good author- 
ity there was not in all Rome a finer house than that belong- 
ing to Lepidus himself, but yet — by Hercules ! — within 
twenty-five years the very same house did not hold the hun- 
dredth rank simply in the City P Let anybody calculate — 
if he please — considering this fact, the vast masses of mar- 
ble, the productions of painters, the regal treasures that must 
have been expended in bringing these hundred mansions to 
vie with one that in its day had been the most sumptuous 
and celebrated in all the City ; and then let him reflect that, 
since then and down to the present, these houses had all 
of them been surpassed by others without number. There 
can be no doubt that the great fires [ in Rome ] are a pun- 
ishment inflicted upon us for our luxury; but such are our 
habits, that in spite of such warnings, we cannot be made to 
understand that there are things in existence more perish- 
able than even man himself. 

But let us now turn our attention to some marvels that, 
if justly appreciated, may be pronounced to remain unsur- 
passed. Quintus Marcius Eex [praetor in 144 b.c] upon 
being commanded by the Senate to repair the Appian Aque- 
duct and that of the Anio, constructed during his prsetorship 
a new aqueduct that bore his name, and was brought 
hither by a channel pierced through the very sides of moun- 
tains. Agrippa [prime minister of Augustus] during his 
tedileship, united the Marcian and the " Virgin " Aqueducts 
and repaired and strengthened the channels of others. He 
also formed 700 wells, in addition to 500 fountains, and 130 
reservoirs, many of them magnificently adorned. Upon 
these works too he erected 300 statues of marble or bronze, 
and 400 marble columns, and all this in the space of a 
single year! In the work which he has written in com- 
memoration of his sedileship, he also informs us that public 
games were celebrated for the space of fifty-seven days and 
1 Not to mention, of course, the notable country villas. 


170 gratuitous bathing places were opened [to the public]. 
The number of these [public baths] at Rome has vastly 
increased since his time. 

The preceding aqueducts, however, have all been surpassed 
by the costly work which has more recently been completed 
by the Emperors Gaius [Caligula] and Claudius. Under 
these princes the Curtian and the Cserulean Waters with 
the " New Anio " were brought a distance of forty miles, 
and at so high a level that all the hills — whereon Rome 
is built — were supplied with water. The sum expended 
on these works was 360,000,000 sesterces [$14,000,000]. 
If we take into account the abundant supply of water to 
the public, for baths, ponds, canals, household purposes, 
gardens, places in the suburbs and country houses, and then 
reflect upon the distances that are traversed [from the 
sources on the hills], the arches that have been constructed, 
the mountains pierced, the valleys leveled, — we must per- 
force admit that there is nothing more worthy of our ad- 
miration throughout the whole universe. 

84. The Extent op the City of Rome 

Pliny the Elder, "Natural History," book m, chap. 9. Bohn Translation 

The following short sketch of Rome, its streets, buUdings, etc., 
is given us by a careful author, writing in the reign of Vespasian 
(69-79 A.D.). While the area of Rome was far inferior to various 
great modern capitals, probably the masses of the population were 
so compactly housed that the inhabitants in Pliny's time numbered 
well up to 1,500,000, although any estimates must be very un- 

Romulus left the city of Rome, if we are to believe those 
who state the very greatest number, with only three gates, 
and uo more. When the Vespasians ^ were Emperors and 
Censors in the year of the building of the city, 826 [73 a.d.J, 

1 Titus was colleague with his father, Vespasian. 


the circumference of the walls which, surrounded it was 
thirteen and two-fifths miles. Surrounding as it does the 
Seven Hills, the city is divided into fourteen districts, with 
265 crossroads under the guardianship of the Lares.^ If a 
straight line is drawn from the mile column placed at the 
entrance of the Forum to each of the gates, which are at 
present thirty-seven in number — taking care to count only 
once the twelve double gates, and to omit the seven old ones, 
which no longer exist — the total result will be a straight 
line of twenty miles and 765 paces. But if we draw a 
straight line from the same mile column to the very last of 
the houses, including therein the Prsetorian camp [in the 
suburb] and follow throughout the line ot the streets, the 
result will be something over seventy miles. Add to these 
calculations the [great] height of the houses, and then a 
person may form a fair idea of this city, and surely he must 
confess that no other place in the world can vie with it 
in size. 

On the eastern side it is bounded by the mound (ager) of 
Tarquinius Superbus — a work of surpassing grandeur ; for 
he raised it so high as to be on a level with the walls on the 
side on which the city lay most exposed to attack from the 
neighboring plains. On all the other sides it has been forti- 
fied — either with lofty walls, or steep and precipitous hills ; 
yet it has come to pass, that the buildings of Rome — -in- 
creasing and extending beyond all bounds — have now 
united many [outlying] towns to it.^ 

85. The Collapse of Houses and the Fiees in Rome 
Strabo, " Geography," book V, chap. 3. Bohn Translation 

Only the upper classes at Rome dwelt in marble palaces. The 
majority of people lodged in insulce, huge tenement houses, high, 

1 A little chapel to the Lares would stand at each crossing. 

2 Thus the houses were practically continuous all the way to Tibur, 
Arcia, and other suburban towns. 


ill ventilated, unsanitary. Often these must have been vile rook- 
eries, but fortunately in Italy one can live most of the time in the 
open air. Houses of this type were exposed to constant danger 
by collapse or conflagration, as is told by Strabo. 

[In Rome there is continual need] of ■wood and stone for 
ceaseless building caused by the frequent falling down of 
houses, and on account of conflagrations and of sales which 
seem never to cease. These sales are a kind of voluntary 
falling down of houses, each owner knocking down and re- 
building according to his individual taste. For these pur- 
poses the numerous quarries, forests, and rivers [in the 
region] which convey the materials, offer wonderful facilities. 

Augustus Caesar endeavored to avert from the city the 
dangers alluded to, and instituted a company of freedmen, 
who should be ready to lend their assistance in the case of 
conflagration, while as a preventive against falling houses 
he decreed that all new buildings should not be carried to 
the same height as formerly, and those erected along the 
public ways should not exceed seventy feet in height.^ But 
these improvements must have ceased except for the facilities 
afl'orded [to Rome] by the quarries, the forests, and the ease 
of transport. 

86. The Mania for Liteeaky Fame in Imperial Times 

Friedlaender, ' ' Roman Life and Manners," English Translation, vol. m, p. 45 

A well-known German writer has collected these instances of the 
intense yearning of the men of the Empire for literary celebrity. 
Vast quantities of Greek and Latin prose and poetry were ground 
out, and inflicted on the age. It is a pathetic sign of the decline 
of true hterary taste and ability that so little of what once passed 
as the work of genius has survived ; while probably most of what 
was lost deserved its fate ! 

1 Rome was evidently cursed with many flimsily constructed " sky 
scrapers." Trajan about a hundred years after Augustus reduced the 
maximum building height to only sixty feet. 


The grave of a Roman boy, apparently the son of a freed- 
inan, named Quintus Sulpicius Maxim us, who died early in 
his twelfth year, has been discovered at Eome. According 
to the inscription on his tomb, he competed for the prize in 
the Capitoline agon''- in the year 94, with fifty-two Greek 
poets ; " owing to the talent he displayed, the favor which 
his tender years aroused became admiration ; he came out of 
the contest with honor." The 43 Greek hexameters impro- 
vised by him on the theme " What Zeus said when he 
reproached Helios for lending his chariot to Phaethon "(proba- 
bly a common subject for the rhetoric schools) were engraved 
upon the monument, " that it might not be thought the 
parents were influenced in their judgment by their affection." 
They give evidence of a deligeut study of the Greek epic. 
Of two Greek epigrams in praise of the deceased, one asserts 
that sickness and exhaustion carried him off, since he de- 
voted himself day and night to the Muses. 

In 110 the thirteen-year-old Lucius Valerius Prudens of 
Histonium [an Italian town] was unanimously awarded the 

Besides the Capitoline contest, Domitian held another 
competition yearly on March 19, the festival of Minerva, the 
object of his special worship at his country seat near Alba. 
One of the members of a college founded by the Emperor, 
elected by lot to preside, superintended the arrangements ; 
in addition to theatrical representations and magnificent 
combats of wild beasts, there were oratorial and poetical 
competitions. As late as the fourth century poets as well 
as athletes and musicians took part in the Pythian agon 
(contest) at Carthage, as is shown by Saint Augustine's 
mention of his own coronation as a poet by the proconsul 
[of Africa]. 

1 A contest especially between composers of Greek and Latin poetry. 

IOOa.d.] oratory in the ROMAN COURTS 239 

87. Oeatokt in- the Roman Courts 
Pliny the Younger, " Letters," book n, letter 14. Firth's Translation 

As political freedom gradually ceased under the Empire, oratory- 
was more and more confined to the courts but in the argument 
of cases an interest -was maintained that was often entirely dispro- 
portionate to the importance of the suit. Forensic oratory was 
practically the only public way a young man of good family could 
distinguish himself unless he joined the army. In the opinion of 
true lovers of the art, however, by 100 a.d. the advocate's profes- 
sion was in a very bad state, and in great danger of falling into 
contempt. Its evils and abuses are here explained by Pliny. 

Yes [you Maximus, my correspondent] are quite right : 
my time is fully taken up by cases in the Centumviral 
Court, but they give me more worry than pleasure, for most 
of them are of a minor and unimportant nature. [Most of 
the advocates are young men without standing, and] make 
their first beginnings on the hardest subjects. Yet, by 
Heaven, before my time — to use an old man's phrase — not 
even the highest-born youths had any standing here, unless 
they were introduced by a man of consular rank. 

Now all modesty and respect are thro-wn to the winds, 
and one man is as good as another. So far from being 
introduced they burst in. The audiences follow them as if 
they were actors, bought and paid to do so ; the agent [of 
the orator] is there to meet them in the middle of the court- 
house (basilica), where the doles of money are handed over 
as openly as doles of food at a banquet ; and they are ready 
to pass from one court to another for a bribe. [They are 
made fun of for their readiness to cry " bravo "] yet this 
disgraceful practice gets worse every day. Yesterday two 
of my own nomenclators — young men I admit, about the 
age of those who have just assumed the toga — were enticed 
off to join the claque for three denarii [about 60 cents] 


apiece. Such is the outlay you must make to get a reputa' 
tion for eloquence ! 

At that price you can fill the benches, however many 
there are ; you can obtain a great throng and get thunders 
of applause as soon as the conductor gives the signal. For 
a signal is absolutely necessary for people who do not 
understand, and do not even listen to the speeches ; and 
many of these fellows do not listen at all, though they 
applaud as heartily as any. If you chance to be crossing 
the courthouse, and wish to know how any one is speaking, 
there is no need to stop to listen. It is quite safe to guess 
on the principle that he who is speaking worst gets the most 

The singsong style [of this claque] only wants the clap- 
ping of hands, or rather cymbals and drums, to make them 
like the priests of Cybele, for as for bowlings, — that is the 
only word to express the unseemly applause, — they have 
enough and to spare. 

88. The Life oe a Refined Eoman Gentleman 

Pliny the Younger, "Letters," book m, letter 1. Firth's Translation 

If at its worst a Roman magnate's life was one of stupid sensu- 
ality, at its best it represented an almost ideal refinement and 
cultivated leisure. Pliny's friend here described must have been a 
most charming companion Very pleasant, indeed, might life be 
during the early Empire — if one belonged to the favored classes. 

I do not think I have ever spent a more delightful time 
than during my recent visit to Spurinna's house; indeed 
I enjoyed myself so much that if it is my fortune to grow 
old, there is no one whom I should prefer to take as my 
model in old age, as there is nothing more methodical than 
that time of life. Personally I like to see men map out 
their lives with the regularity of the fixed courses of the 
stars, and especially old men. For while one is young a 


little disorder and msh — so to speak — is not unbecoming; 
but for old folks, whose days of exertion are past, and in 
whom personal ambition is disgraceful, a placid and well- 
ordered life is highly suitable. That is the principle upon 
■ which Spurinna acts most religiously ; even trifles, or what 
would be trifles were they not of daily occurrence, he goes 
through in fixed order, and, as it were, orbit. 

In the morning he keeps his couch; at the second hour 
he calls for his shoes and walks three miles, exercising 
mind as well as body. If he has friends with him, the time 
is passed in conversation on the noblest of themes, otherwise 
a book is read aloud, and sometimes this is done even when 
his friends are present, but never in such a way as to bore 
them. Then he sits down, and there is more talk for pref- 
erence ; afterward he enters his carriage, taking with him 
either his wife — who is a pattern lady — or one of his 
friends, a distinction I recently enjoyed. How delightful, 
how charming that privacy is ! What glimpses of old 
times one gets ! What noble deeds and noble men he tells 
you of ! What lessons you drink in ! Yet at the same 
time it is his wont to so blend his learning with modesty, 
that he never seems to be playing the schoolmaster. 

After riding seven miles he walks another mile, then 
resumes his seat, or betakes himself to his room and his 
pen; for he composes, both in Latin and Greek, the most 
scholarly lyrics. They have a wonderful grace, wonderful 
sweetness and wonderful humor, and the chastity of the 
writer enhances its charm. When he is told that the bath- 
ing hour has come — which is the ninth hour in winter and 
the eighth in summer — he takes a walk naked in the sun, 
if there is no wind. Then he plays at ball for a long spell, 
throwing himself heartily into the game, for it is by means 
of this kind of active exercise that he battles with old age. 
After his bath he lies down and waits a little while ere 
taking food, listening in the meantime to the reading of 


some light and pleasant book. All this time his friends 
are at perfect liberty to imitate his example or do anything 
else they prefer. Then dinner is served, the table being as 
bright as it is modest, and the silver plain and old-fashioned : 
he has also some Corinthian vases in use, for which he has 
a taste but not a mania. The dinner is often relieved by 
actors of comedy, so that the pleasures of the table may 
have a seasoning of letters. Even in the summer the meal 
lasts well into the night, but no one finds it long, for it has 
kept up with such good humor and charm. The consequence 
is that, though he has passed his seventy-seventh year, his 
hearing and eyesight are as good as ever, his body is still 
active and alert, and the only symptom of his age is his 

This is the sort of life that I [PlinyJ have vowed and 
determined to forestall, and I shall enter upon it with zest, 
as soon as my age justifies me in beating a retreat. 

89. A Wealthy Soman's Fortune 

Pliny the Elder, " Natural History," book XXXIII, chap. 47. Bohn 

Great fortunes under the Empire fell into two general classes, — 
those founded on commerce, and those founded on land. A good 
instance of the latter is here cited from Pliny. Isidorus must 
have been a great territorial lord, — almost a petty prince upon 
his vast domains. It was estates hke his — worked by cheap 
slave labor — which ruined the honest peasant farmers of Italy. 

Gaius Caeeilius Claudius Isidorus in the consulship of 
Gains Asinius Gallus and Gaius Marcius Censorinus [8 e.g.] 
upon the sixth day before the calends of February declared 
by his will, that though he had suffered great losses by the 
civil wars, he was still able to leave behind him 4116 slaves, 
3600 yoke of oxen, and 257,000 head of other kinds of 


cattle,' besides in ready money 60,000,000 sesterces [about 
$2,400,000]. Upon his funeral he ordered 1,100,000 sesterces 
[about $44,000] to be expended. 

90. A EoMAN Seaside Villa 

Statius, " SilvEB," book n, 2 (abridged). Slater's Translation 

About 90 A. D. a Roman poet wrote this description of a friend's 
villa on the beautiful bay of Naples. Despite somewhat strained 
and flowery language, we get a good idea of the charms of the loca- 
tion and the elegance and luxury of the building. There is no 
reason, however, to believe that this villa surpassed many others of 
its kind. 

Between the walls that bear the name of the Sirens and 
the rocks burdened with Tyrrhene Minerva's temple, stands 
a lofty mansion that looks out upon the Bay of Puteoli. This 
is ground dear to Bromius. On the high hills ripens a vint- 
age that need not be jealous of Falernian vats. 

The sheltered waters, the crescent bay break a passage 
through the arc of cliff on either hand. The charm that 
first meets the sight is a steaming bathhouse with twin 
cupolas. From the land a rivulet of fresh water flows to 
meet the brine. Erom the shore, along the long counterscarps 
of cliff, the colonnade makes its way, worthy of a city. The 
long platform dominates the rough rocks. V7here once was 
blinding dust and dazzling sunshine — a wild, unlovely 
track — it is now a joy to pass. 

One hall [of the villa] looks out upon the sunrise and the 
fresh beams of Phoebus, another keeps him back at his 
setting and will not suffer the afterglow to pass. Here are 
rooms that resound with the voices of the sea : here are 
others that refuse to know the thunderous surges, but rather 
the silence of the land. 

iNote how cattle and slaves are lumped together as property of 
essentially the same kind. 


What need to tell of statues fashioned long since in wax 
and bronze ? [Masterpieces of Apelles and Myro and Phidias] ; 
bronzes from the funeral fire of Corinth ; busts of great cap- 
tains, and bards, and wise men of old [fill the villa]. 

Why should I rehearse the countless roof tops and the 
ever changing view ? Each has a charm of its own ; every 
chamber window has its own [private] view of the sea. 

There is one hall that quite outshines them all ; one hall 
that straight across the sea presents to thee, [the view of] 
Parthenope.* Therein are marbles chosen from the heart 
of the quarries in Greece, [and the other marbles from 
Egypt, or from Phrygia] : green marbles from Laconia and 
yellow from Numidia. Here are the Carystian pillars that 
delight to face seaward. These all front and greet the towers 
of Naples. A blessing on the fancy that prefers the Greek, 
that makes a Grecian land thy home I 

91. Letters about Private Life in Egypt ttnder 
THE Empire 

Oxyrhynchos, " Papyri." Quoted in Milne's " Egypt under Roman Rule," 
pp. 160-162 

Most of the letters here given explain themselves. They are 
from papyri of the Imperial period, found at the Egyptian town of 
Oxyrhynchos, and serve to give a curious and valuable light upon 
the life of an obscure provincial community. 

[Relating to gymnastic sports in 323 A.D.] 

" Dioscorides, logistes,* of the Oxyrhyncite noma (subprov- 
ince). The assault at arms by the youths will occur to-mor- 
row, the 24th. Tradition, no less than the distinguished 
character of the festival, requires that they do their utter- 
most in the gymnastic display. The spectators will be 
present at the two performances." 

1 Naples. 3 A high local magistrate in Roman Egypt. 


[Announcing privileges to a victor in the games ; a letter by 
Senate of Oxyrhynchos in 292 a.d. to the district governor.] 

"At a meeting of our body a dispatch was read from 
Theodorus, recently chosen in place of Areion, the scribe, to 
proceed to his highness, the Prsefect [of Egypt] and attend 
his ' immaculate ' court. In this dispatch he explained that 
he is victor in the games and exempted from inquiries. We 
have, therefore, nominated Aurelianus to serve [as deputy 
to the Governor at Alexandria] and we send you word 
accordingly that this fact may be brought to his knowledge, 
and no time be lost in his departure and attendance upon 
the court." ^ 

[From a petty local magistrate of a small village in the Egyp- 
tian Fayum ; about some pubHc amusements.] 

" To Aureleus Theon, keeper of the training school, from 
Aurelius Asclepiades, son of Philadelphus, president of the 
council of the village of Bacchias. I desire to hire from 
you Tisais, the dancing girl, and another, to dance for us at 
the abov^ village for (fifteen?) days from the 13th Phaophi 
by the old [Egyptian] calendar. You shall receive as pay 
36 drachmae a day, and for the whole period 3 artabai of 
wheat, and 15 couples of loaves ; also three donkeys to fetch 
them and take them back." 

[Invitations in "good society" at Oxyrhynchos.] 

" Cheereman requests your company at dinner, at the 
table of the lord Serapis^ at the Serapseum, to-morrow the 
15th, at 9 o'clock." 

" Herais requests your company at dinner, in celebration 
of the marriage of her children, in her house to-morrow, the 
5th, at 9 o'clock." 

1 Evidently attendance upon the prsefect's court was an unwelcome and 
probably expensive duty. 

2 Dinner parties seem to have been given in temples, as to-day in hotels. 


" Greeting, my dear Serenia, from Petosiris. Be sure> 
dear, to come upon the 20th for the birthday festival of the 
god, and let me know whether you are coming by boat or 
by donkey, in order that we may send for you accordingly. 
Take care not to forget. I pray for your continued health." 

[Declaration to a local magistrate by an egg seller, showing the 
close watch kept by city authorities over the trades.] 

"To Flavius Thennyras, logistes of the Oxyrhynchite 
district, from Aurelius Nilus, son of Didymus, of the illus- 
trious and most illustrious city of Oxyrhynchos, an egg 
seller by trade. I hereby agree on the august, divine oath 
by our lord the Emperor and the Cassars to oiier my eggs 
in the market place publicly for sale, and to supply to the 
said city, every day without intermission; and I acknowl- 
edge that it shall be unlawful for me in the future to sell 
secretly or in my house. If I am detected in so doing, I 
shall be liable to penalty." ' 

[Complaint by an outraged liusband — Syrus, sou of Petechon — 
of the "Great Oasis" to the Egyptian Praefect as to lawless con- 
ditions among the lower classes of Egypt.] 

"I married a woman of my own tribe ... a free-born 
woman, of free parents, and have children by her. Now 
Tabes, daughter of Ammonios and her husband Laloi, and 
Psenesis and Straton their sons, haye committed an act 
that disgraces all the chiefs of the town, and shows their 
recklessness ; they carried off my wife and children to their 
own house, calling them their slaves, although they were 
free, and my wife has brothers living who are free. When I 
remonstrated, they seized me and beat me shamefully." 

[Another complaint by a woman, Tarmouthis, a seller of vege- 
tables in the Arsinote district in Egypt, to the authorities.] 

1 There is evidently fear that a conspiracy to " enhance " the price of eggs 
18 impending, hence tb« exaction of this oath. 


" On the fourth of this month, Taorsenouphis, wife of 
Ammonios Phimon, an elder of the village of Bacchias al- 
though she had no occasion against me, came to my house, 
and made herseli' most unpleasant to me. Besides tearing 
my tunic and cloak, she carried off 16 drachmae that I 
had put by, the price of vegetables I had sold. And on 
the fifth her husband, Ammonios Phimon, came to my house, 
pretending he was looking for my husband, and took my 
lamp and went up into the house. And he went off with 
a pair of silver armlets, weighing forty drachmae, while my 
husband was away from home." 

92. A Diatribe against the Women of Rome 

Juvenal, " Satires," VI, 11. 199-304, 475-503. Gifford's Translation 

About 100 A.D. a keen ami bitter satirist delivered himself as 
follows against the women of Rome. Some of his charges are 
clearly overwrought ; but there is no doubt that the Roman ladies 
often abused the very large liberties allowed them, and that divorce, 
unfaithfulness, wanton extravagance, and many other like evils 
were direfuUy common. Also the women were invading the arts 
and recreations of men, — a proceeding the present age will view 
more leniently than did Juvenal. 

[Now] tell me — if thou canst not love a wife, 

Made thine by every tie, and thine for life, 

Why wed at all ? Why waste the wine and cakes, 

The queasy-stomach'd guest, at parting, takes ? 

And the rich present, which the bridal right 

Claims for the favors of the happy night. 

The platter where triumphantly inscroll'd 

The Dacian hero shines in current gold ? ^ 

If thou canst love, and thy besotted mind 

Is so uxoriously to one inclined, 

1 On the wedding night the hushand presented the wife with some gold 
pieces. The "Dacian Hero " is a sarcastic allusion to Domitian. 


Then bow thy neck, and with submissive air, 
Receive the yoke thou must forever wear. 

To a fond spouse, a wife no mercy shows 
But warmed with equal fires, enjoys his woes. 
She tells thfee where to love and where to hate, 
Shuts out the ancient friend, whose beard thy gate 
Knew from its downy to its hoary state : 
And when rogues and parasites of all degrees 
Have power to will their fortune as they please. 
She dictates thine, and impudently dares 
To name thy very rivals for thy heirs. 

" Go crucify that slave." " For what offence ? 
Who's the accuser ? Where's the evidence ? 
Hear all ! no time, whatever time we take 
To sift the charges, when man's life's at stake, 
Can e'er be long : hear all, then, I advise ! " — 
" Thou sniveler ! is a slave a man?" she cries : 
" He's innocent ? — be it so, — 'tis my command. 
My will : let that, sir, for a reason stand." 

Thus the virago triumphs, thus she reigns : 
Anon she sickens of her first domains. 
And seeks for new ; — husband on husband takes, 
Till of her bridal veil one rent she makes. 
Again she tires, again for change she burns. 
And to the bed she lately left returns, 
While the fresh garlands and unfaded boughs. 
Yet deck the portal of her wondering spouse. 
Thus swells the list — " Eight husbands in Jive years ; " 
A rare inscription on their sepulchres ! 

While thy wife's mother lives, expect no peace. 
She teaches her with savage joy to fleece 
A bankrupt spouse ; kind creature ! she befriends 

IOOa.d.] diatribe against women of ROME 249 

The lover's hopes, and when her daughter sends 
An answer to his prayer, the style inspects, 
Softens the cruel, and the wrong corrects. . . . 

Women support the bar, they love the law, 
And raise litigious questions for a show, 
They meet in private and prepare the Bill 
Draw up instructions with a lawyer's skill, 
Suggest to Celsus' where the merits lie. 
And dictate points for statement or reply. 

Nay more, they fence, who has not marked their oil. 
Their purple rugs,^ for this preposterous toil ? 
Equipped for fight, the lady seeks the list 
And fiercely tilts at her antagonist, 
A post ! which with her buckles she provokes, 
And bores and batters with repeated strokes, 
Till all the fencer's art can do she shows, 
And the glad master interrupts her blows. . . . 

[Or when the lady is being dressed to receive a gentleman friend, 
it is a sad time for her maid trying to please her mistress.] 

The house appears 
Like Phalaris's ^ court, all bustle, gloom and tears. 
The wretched Psecas, for the whip prepared, 
With locks disheveled, and with shoulders bared, 
Attempts her hair ; fire flashes from her eyes, 
And " wretch ! why this curl so high ? " she cries. . 
Instant the lash, without remorse, is plied. 
And the blood stains her bosom, back and side. 
Another trembling on the left prepares 
To open and arrange the straggling hairs 

1 A well-known Eomau jurist. 

2 Wrapped around them after violent exercise. 

' Phalaris was a frightfully cruel tyrant of Agrlgentum. 


To ringlets trim ; meanwhile the council meet, 

And first the nurse, a personage discreet. 

Gives her opinion ; then the rest in course 

As age or practice lend their judgment force. 

So warm they grow, and so much pains they take, 

You'd think her honor or her life at stake, 

So high they build her head, such tiers on tiers, 

With wary hands, they pile, that she appears 

Andromache before ; — and what behind ? 

A dwarf, a creature of a different kind ! 

93. The Gokmandizing of the Emperor Vitbllius 

Suetonius, "Life of Vitellius," chap. 13 Bohn Translation 
The Emperor Vitellius, who had a veiy brief and insigniticant 
reign (69 A. d.), was mainly distinguished for his gormandizing 
and gluttony. How he enjoyed himself during his short lease of 
power is told by Suetonius. Probably there were a good many in 
Rome who would have imitated him, if given a similar opportunity. 

Vitellius always made three meals per day, sometimes 
four: breakfast, dinner and supper and a drunken revel 
after all. This load of victuals he could bear well enough, 
from a custom to which he had enured himself of frequently 
vomiting. For these several meals he would make different 
appointments at the houses of his friends on the same day. 
None ever entertained him at a less expense than 400,000 
sesterces [about $16,000]. The most famous was a set 
entertainment given him by his brother, at which were served 
up no less than two thousand choice fishes, and seven thou- 
sand birds. Yet even this supper he himself outdid at a 
feast which he gave upon the first use of a dish which had 
been made for him, and which from its extraordinary size 
he called "The Shield of Minerva." In this dish were 
tossed together the livers of charfish, the brains of pheasants 
and peacocks, with the tongues of flamingoes and the entrails 
of lampreys, which had been brought in ships of war as far 


as from the Carpathian Sea [between Crete and Ehodes] 
and the Spanish Straits. 

He was not only a man of insatiable appetite, but he would 
gratify it at unseasonable times, and with any garbage that 
came his way. Thus at a sacrifice he would snatch from 
the fire the flesh and cakes and eat them on the spot. 
AVhen he traveled, he did the same at inns upon the road, 
whether the meat was fresh dressed and hot, or whether it 
had been left from the day before and was half eaten. 

[After a reign of a little less than a year this glutton was slain by 
troops of his worthier rival Vespasian.] 


Pliny the Elder, " Natural History," book XXXm, chap. 6. Bohn 

To what absurd lengths Roman foppery and luxiuy could go is 
exemplified in the following. There was about equal aflfectation in 
fashionable circles, as to all kinds of raiment, furniture, etc. 

It was the custom at first to wear rings on a single finger 
only, — the one next to the little finger, and this we see to 
be the case in the statues of Nuraa and Servius Tullius. 
Later it became usual to put rings on the finger next to the 
thumb, even with statues of the gods ; and more recently 
still it has been the fashion to wear them upon the little fin- 
ger too. Among the Gauls and Britons the middle finger — 
it is said — is used for the purpose. At the present day, 
however, with us, this is the only finger that is excepted, for 
all the others are loaded with rings, smaller rings even being 
separately adapted for the smaller joints of the fingers. 

Some people thrust several rings upon the little finger 
alone ; while others wear but one ring upon this finger, the 
ring that carries the seal upon the signet ring itself, this last 
being carefully shut up as an object of rarity, too precious 
to be worn in common use, and only to be taken from the 


coffer as from a sanctuary. And thus is the wearing of a 
single ring upon the little finger, no more than an ostenta-' 
tious advertisement that the owner has property of a more 
precious nature under seal at home. 

Some too make a parade of their rings, whilst to others it 
is a decided labor to wear more than one at a time ; some, 
in their solicitude for the safety of their gems, make the 
hoop of gold tinsel, and fill it with lighter material than 
gold, thinking thereby to diminish the risks of a fall. Others 
again, are in the habit of concealing poisons beneath their 
ring stones, and so wear them as instruments of death ; so 
e.g. did Demosthenes, mightiest of Greek orators. And be- 
sides, how many of the crimes that are stimulated by cupid- 
ity, are committed by the instrumentality of rings ! 

Happy the times ; yes, truly innocent when no seal was 
ever put on anything ! At the present day, indeed, our very 
food and drink even have to be kept from theft through the 
agency of the [seal] ring. This of course is thanks to those 
legions of slaves, those throngs of foreigners who are in- 
troduced into our houses, multitudes so great that we have 
to have a nomenclator [professional remembrancer] to tell 
us even the names of our own servants. Different surely it 
was in the times of our forefathers, when each person pos- 
sessed a single slave only, one of his master's own lineage, 
called Marcipor [Marcus's boy] or Lucipor [Lueius's boy], 
from his master's name, as the case might be, and taking all 
his meals with him in common ; when, too, there was no need 
to take precautions at home by keeping a watch upon the 
servants. But at present, we not only buy dainties that are 
sure to be pilfered but hands to pilfer them as well ; and so 
far from its being enough to keep the very keys sealed, often 
the signet ring is taken from the owner's finger while he is 
overpowered with sleep, or actually lying on his death bed.^ 

1 According to Suetonius the signet ring was removed from tlie finger 
of the Emperor Tiberius while he lay dying. 


96. The Bill of Fare of a Great Roman Banquet 

Maciobius, "Saturnalia Conyivia," book m, chap. 13. Abstract in 
Mommsen, "History of Rome " (new edition), vol. V, p. 387, note 

The sensual and unrefined society of the Roman age laid a vast 
stress upon the joys of eating. Probably never before or since 
has greater effort been expended upon gratifying the palate. The 
art of cooking was placed almost on a level with that of sculpture 
or of music. It is worth noticing that the ancient epicures were, 
however, handicapped by the absence of most forms of modem ices, 
and of sugar. The menu here presented was for a feast given by 
Mucius Lentulus Niger, when, in 63 B.C., he became a pontiff. 
There were present the other pontifices including Julius Caesar, 
the Vestal Virgins, and some other priests, also ladies related to 
them. While this banquet took place under the Republic, it was 
probably surpassed by many in Imperial times. 

Before the dinner proper came sea hedgehogs ; fresh oys- 
ters, as many as the guests wished ; large mussels ; 
sphondyli ; field fares with asparagus; fattened fowls; 
oyster and mussel pasties ; black and white sea acorns ; 
sphondyli again ; glycimarides ; sea nettles ; becaficoes ^ ; roe 
ribs ; boar's ribs ; fowls dressed with flour ; becaficoes ; purple 
shellfish of two sorts. Tlie dinner itself consisted of sows' 
udder; boar's head; fish-pasties; boar-pasties; ducks; boiled 
teals ; hares ; roasted fowls ; starch pastry ; Pontic pastry. 

96. The Banquet of Trimalchio, the Rich Parvenu 

Petronius, " Satyricon." Ryan's Translation 

The following is a mere excerpt from a comic romance probably 
composed during the reign of Nero. The picture of Trimalchio, 
the coarse freedman parvenu, who has nothing to commend him 
but his money, and who is surrounded by countless parasites and 
creatures of his whims, is one of the most clever and unsparing 
delineations in ancient literature. Much of the Satyricon is too 
1 A kind of small thrush. 


coarse for reproduotion. The passage here given will, however, 
present some notion of Roman " luxury " at its extremes. 

At last we went to recline at table where boys from 
Alexandria poured snow water on our hands, while others, 
turning their attention to our feet, picked our nails, and not 
in silence did they perform their task, but singing all the 
time. I wished to try if the whole retinue could sing, and 
so I called for a drink, and a boy, not less ready with his 
tune, brought it accompanying his action with a sharp-toned 
ditty ; and no matter what you asked for it was all the 
same song. 

The first course was served and it was good, for all were 
close up at the table, save Trimalchio, for whom, after a 
new fashion, the place of honor was reserved.^ Among 
the first viands there was a little ass of Corinthian bronze 
with saddle bags on his back, in one of which were white 
olives and in the other black. Over the ass were two 
silver platters, engraved on the edges with Trimalchio's 
name, and the weight of silver. Dormice seasoned with 
honey and poppies lay on little bridgelike structures of 
iron; there were also sausages brought in piping hot on a 
silver gridiron, ^nd under that Syrian plums and pome- 
granate grains. 

We were in the midst of these delights when Trimalchio 
was brought in with a burst of music. They laid him down 
on some little cushions, very carefully ; whereat some giddy 
ones broke into a laugh, though it was not much to be 
wondered at, to see his bald pate peeping out from a scarlet 
cloak, and his neck all wrapped up and a robe with a 
broad purple stripe hanging down before him, with tassels 
and fringes dingle-dangle about him. 

Then going through his teeth with a silver pick, "my 

1 Trimalchio is made out sucli a boor that he does not yield the place of 
honor to a guest. 


friends," quoth he, " I really didn't want to come to dinner 
so soon, but I was afraid my absence would cause too great 
a delay, so I denied myself the pleasure I was at — at any 
rate I hope you'll let me finish my game." A slave followed, 
carrying a checkerboard of turpentine wood, with crystal 
dice ; but one thing in particular I noticed as extra nice — 
he had gold and silver coins instead of the ordinary black 
and white pieces. While he was cursing like a trooper 
over the game and we were starting on the lighter dishes, a 
basket was brought in on a tray, with a wooden hen in it, 
her wings spread round, as if she were hatching. 

Then two slaves came with their eternal singing, and 
began searching the straw, whence they rooted out some 
peahen's eggs, and distributed them among the guests. 
At this Trimalchio turned around — " Friends," he says, 
"I had some peahen's eggs placed under a hen, and so help 
me Hercules ! — I hope they're not hatched out ; we'd better 
try if they're still tasty." Thereupon we took up our 
spoons — they were not less than half a pound weight [of 
silver] — and broke the eggs that were made of rich pastry. 
I had been almost on the point of throwing my share away, 
for I thought I had a chick in it, until hearing an old hand 
saying, " There must be something good in this," I delved 
deeper — and found a very fat fig-pecker inside, surrounded 
by peppered egg yolk. 

At this point Trimalchio stopped his game, demanded the 
same dishes, and raising his voice, declared that if any one 
wanted more liquor he had only to say the word. At once 
the orchestra struck up the mu.sic, as the slaves also struck 
up theirs, and removed the first course. In the bustle a 
dish chanced to fall, and when a boy stooped to pick it up, 
Trimalchio gave him a few vigorous cuffs for his pains, and 
bade him to " throw it down again " — and a slave coming 
in swept out the silver platter along with the refuse. 
After that two long-haired Ethiopians entered with little 


bladders, similar to those used in sprinkling the arena in 
the amphitheater, but instead of water they poured wine on 
our hands. Then glass wine jars were brought in, carefully 
sealed and a ticket on the neck of each, reading thus: 

" Opimian Falernia ' 
One hundred years old." 

[Presently one of the guests remarks, first on how completely 
Trimalchio is under the thumb of his wife ; next he comments on 
the gentleman's vast riches.] 

" So help me Hercules, the tenth of his slaves don't know 
their own master. . . . Some time ago the quality of his wool 
was not to his liking ; so what does he do, but buys rams at 
Tarentum to improve the breed. In order to have Attic 
honey at home with him, he has bees brought from Attica 
to better his stock by crossing it with the Greek. A couple 
of days ago he had the notion to write to India for mushroom 
seed. And his freedmen, his one-time comrades [in slavery] 
they are no small cheese either ; they are immensely well- 
off. Do you see that chap on the last couch over there ? 
To-day he has his 800,000 sesterces [$32,000]. He came 
from nothing, and time was when he had to carry wood upon 
his back. . . . He has been manumitted only lately, but he 
knows his business. Not long ago he displayed this notice : 





[After a very long discussion in like vein and a vulgar display 
of luxuries and riches, Trimalchio condescends to tell the company 
how he came by his vast wealth.] 

1 An extremely choice and famous vintage. 


"When I came here first [as a slave] from Asia, I 
was only as high as yonder candlestick, and I'd be 
measuring my height on it every day, and greasing my 
lips with lamp oil to bring out a bit of hair on my 

" Well, at last, to make a long story short, as it pleased the 
gods, I became master in the house, and as you see, I'm 
chip of the same block. He [my master] made me coheir 
with Ceesar,^ and I came into a royal fortune, but no one 
ever thinks he has enough. I was mad for trading, and to 
put it all in a nutshell, bought five ships, freighted them 
with wine — and wine was as good as coined money at that 
time — and sent them to Rome. You wouldn't believe it, 
— every one of those ships was wrecked. In one day Nep- 
tune swallowed up 30,000,000 sesterces [$1,200,000] on me. 
D'ye think I lost heart? Not much ! I took no notice of 
it, by Hercules ! I got more ships made, larger, better, and 
luckier; that no one might say I wasn't a plucky fellow. 
A big ship has big strength — that's plain ! Well I 
freighted them with wine, bacon, beans, perfumes, and 
slaves. Here Fortuna (my consort) showed her devotion. 
She sold her jewelry and all her dresses, and gave me a 
hundred gold pieces — that's what my fortune grew from. 
What the gods ordain happens quickly. For on just one 
voyage I scooped in 10,000,000 sesterces [$400,000] and 
immediately started to redeem all the lands that used to be 
my master's. I built a house, bought some cattle to sell 
again — whatever I laid my hand to grew like a honeycomb. 
When I found myself richer than all the country round 
about was worth, in less than no time I gave up trading, 
and commenced lending money at interest to the freedmen. 
Ton my word, I was very near giving up business altogether, 

1 It was hardly safe for a rich man to fail to remember the Emperor in 
his will, lest the latter in his wrath at being slighted confiscate the whole 


only an astrologer, who happened to come into oux colony, 
dissuaded me. 

"And now I may as well tell you it all, — I have thirty 
years, four months and two days to live, moreover I'm to 
fall in for an estate, — that's [the astrologer's] prophecy 
anyway. If I'm so lucky as to be able to join my domains 
to Apulia, I'll say I've got on pretty well. Meanwhile 
under Mercury's' fostering, I've built this house. Just a 
hut once, you know — now a regular temple! It has four 
dining rooms, twenty bedrooms, two marble porticoes, a set 
of cells [for the slaves ?] upstairs, my own bedroom, a sit- 
ting room for this viper [my wife !] here, a very fine porter's 
room, and it holds guests to any amount. There are a lot of 
other things too that I'll show you by and by. Take my 
word for it, if you have a penny you're worth a penny, you 
are valued for just what you have. Yesterday your friend 
was a frog, he's a king to-day — that's the way it goes." 

[Trimalchio goes on to show off to his guests the costly 
shroud, perfumes, etc., he has been assembling for his own 
funeral ; and at last] we, the guests were already disgusted 
with the whole affair when Trimalchio, who, by the way, 
was beastly drunk, ordered in the cornet players for our 
further pleasure, and propped up with cushions, stretched 
himself out at full length. 

"Imagine I'm dead," says he, "and play something sooth- 
ing!" Whereat the cornet players struck up a funeral 
march, and one of them especially — a slave of the under- 
taker fellow — the best in the crowd, played with such effect 
that he roused the whole neighborhood. So the watchmen, 
who had charge of the district, thinking Trimalchio's house 
on fire, burst in the door, and surged in — as was their right — 
with axes and water ready. Taking advantage of such an 
opportune moment ... we bolted incontinently, as if there 
had been a real fire in the place. 

I The patron god of traders and thieves. 


97. Seisteoa on the Gladiatorial Butcheries 

Seneca, "Epistles," 7. Henderson's Translation 
The following letter indicates how by the age of Nero cultured 
and elevated souls were beginning to revolt at the arena butcheries 
which still delighted the mob. 

I turned in to the games one mid-day hoping for a little 
wit and humor there. I was bitterly disappointed. It was 
really mere butchery. The morning's show was merciful 
compared to it. Then men were thrown to lions and to 
bears : but at midday to the audience. There was no es- 
cape for them. The slayer was kept [fighting] till he could 
be slain. " Kill him ! flog him ! burn him alive " [was the 
cry :] " Why is he such a coward ? Why won't he rush on 
the steel ? Why does he fall so meekly ? Why won't he die 
willingly ? " Unhappy that I am, how have I deserved 
that I must look on such a scene as this? Do not, my 
Lucilius, attend the games, I pray you. Either you will be 
corrupted by the multitude, or, if you show disgust, be hated 
by them. So stay away." 

98. Seneca's Opinions upon Slavert 

Collected from Seneca's writings in B. W. Henderson's " Life and Prin- 
cipate of Werp," p. 92 

With aU his shortcomings Seneca was undoubtedly the most ad- 
vanced pagan thinker of his day. The following extracts from his 
writings indicate clearly that by about 60 a.d. the old ideas of 
the inevitableness and desirabihty of slavery were beginning to 
crumble. The spread of the Stoic philosophy as well as the final 
triumph of Christianity did much to mitigate and finally almost to 
abolish the Eoman slave system. 

" It is a savage pride which quotes the proverb ' So many 
slaves, so many foes' '^ They are no foes to us until we 
make them so." 

1 A proverb probably very often in Roman mouths. 


" Slaves, do I say ? Rather ' men.' ' Slaves ? ' No, but 
comrades. 'Slaves?' Say rather 'humble friends.' Nay 
— ' slaves ' if you like, but fellow slaves with you, who own 
one arbiter of destiny — Fate. See your modern master 
deeming it a disgrace if no throng of slaves surrounds his 
couch at dinner. Poor wretches! Flogged for a murmur, 
a cough, a sneeze, a sigh. In olden time slaves who might 
speak not only in the presence of, but even face to face with, 
their masters, were found ready to lay down their lives for 
their master's sakes. Is not a slave of the same stuff as you, 
his lord ? Does he not enjoy the same sun, breathe the 
same air, die, even as do you? Let then your slave worship 
rather than dread you. Is it too little for a master, which is 
enough for God ? For love casts out fear." * 

" Shall a slave be counted as one that can do benefits to 
his lord? Surely. Virtue recks not of the birth but of the 
purpose. She resides not in the person, nor nobility in the 
pedigree. She deals not with citizen or slave, but rests con- 
tent with man as man. Scorn not any man. The Universe 
is the common parent of us all." 

99. Wall InsoEiPTioiirs from Pompeii 

Collected in Kelsey's Translation of Man's "Pompeii," chap. 67 passim 

There are almost no literary remains from Antiquity possessing 
greater human interest than these inscriptions scratched on the 
walls of Pompeii (destroyed 79 a.d.). Their character is extremely 
varied, and they illustrate in a keen and vital way the life of a busy, 
luxurious, and, withal, tolerably typical, city of some 25,000 inhabit- 
ants in the days of the Flavian Caesars. Most of these inscriptions 
carry their own message with little need of a commentary. Per- 
haps those of the greatest importance are the ones relating to local 
politics. It is very evident that the so-called "monarchy'' of the 
Emperors had not involved the destruction of political life, at least 
in the provincial towns. 

1 Compare ttiis to the teachings of the New Testament. 


Notices of Gladiatorial Games, etc. 

" Twenty pairs of gladiators provided by Quintus Monnius 
Eufus, are to fight at Nola May 1, 2 and 3, and there will be 
a hunt." 

" Thirty pairs of gladiators provided by Gnaeus Alleius 
Nigidius Mains quinquennial duumvir, together with their 
substitutes, will fight at Pompeii on November 24, 25, 26. 
There wUl be a hunt. Hurrah for Maius the Quinquennial ! 
Bravo, Paris ! " ' 

"The gladiatorial troop of the aedile Aulius Suettius 
Certus will fight at Pompeii May 31. There will be a hunt, 
and awnings will be provided." 

" Twenty pairs of gladiators furnished by Decimus Lucre- 
tius Satrius Valens perpetual priest of Nero, son of the 
Emperor, and ten pairs of gladiators furnished by Decimus 
Lucretius Valens his son, will fight at Pompeii April 8, 9, 
10, 11, and 12. There will be a big hunt and awnings. 
jEmilius Celer wrote this by the light of the moon." ^ 

Election Notices and Appeals 

" The dyers request the election of Postumius Proculus as 

"Vesonius Primus urges the election of Gnaeus Helvius 
as aedile, — a man worthy of public office." 

"Vesonius Primus requests the election of Gains Gavius 
Eufus as duumvir, a man who will serve the public interest 
— do elect him, I beg of you." 

" Primus and his household are working for the election 
of Gnaeus Helvius Sabinus as aedile." 

1 Maius was as ' quinquennial ' holding a position practically the same a 
the censors in Republican Rome. He seems to have been a wealthy and 
important man. Paris was probably a well-known gladiator. 

' Celer seems to have been a regular notice painter at Pompeii. 


"Make Lucius Cseserninus quinquennial duumvir ol 
Nuceria,' I beg you : he is a good man." 

" His neighbors request the election of Tiberius Claudius 
Verus as duumvir." 

Various candidates are commended in different inscriptions 
as " worthy of public ofRce," " an upright young man," 
" a youth of remarkable modesty," " a careful watcher of the 

Guilds and tradespeople unite to support favorite candi- 
dates, thus : " The worshipers of Isis ^ as a body ask for 
the election of Gnaeus Helvius Sabinus as sedile." 

Again, " The inhabitants of the Campanian suburb ask for 
the election of Marcus Epidius Sabinus as eedile." ' 

" At the request of the neighbors Suedius Clemens, most 
upright judge, is working for the election of Marcus Epidius 
Sabinus, a worthy young man, as duumvir with judicial 
authority. He begs you to elect him." 

The ease with which notices could be scribbled on the 
walls of the streets of Pompeii, enabled enemies to deliver 
satirical attacks on candidates, as well as for friends '^o 
praise, thus : " The sneak thieves request the election oi 
Vatia as sedile." " The whole company of late drinkers 
(favor Vatia)." "The whole company of late risers (favor 

Inscriptions of General and Various Interest 

Notice on the " Elephant Inn," — ornamented with the 
sign of an elephant in the coils of a snake, and defended by 
a pigmy, — "Inn to let. Triclinium (dining room) with 
three couches." 

1 Nuceria was a town neighboring to PompeH. 

2 A quasi-veligious fraternity. 

'Sabinus evidently represents some " local interest." 


Written on the walls of a sleeping room in another inn, 
by some affectionate husband, " Here slept Vibius Restitutus 
all by himself his heart filled with longings for his Urbana." 

Advertisement painted on a wall, " To rent from the first 
day of next Jnly, shops with the floors over them, fine 
upper chambers, and a house, in the Arnius Pollio block, 
owned by Gnasus AUeius Nigidius Mains. Prospective 
lessees may apply to Primus, slave of Gnaeus AUeius Nigi- 
dius Mains." ' 

Another advertisement, " To let, for the term of five years, 
from the thirteenth day of next August to the thirteenth 
day of the sixth August thereafter, the Venus bath, fitted 
up for the best people, shops, rooms over shops, and second- 
story appartments in the property owned by Julia Felix, 
daughter of Spurius." 

Notice for a lost article, "A copper pot has been taken 
from this shop. Whoever brings it back will receive 65 
sesterces [$2.60]. If any one shall hand over the thief [he 
will be rewarded (?)]." 

Messages and expressions from lovers are many; ex- 
amples : " He who has never been in love can be no gentle- 
man." "Health to you, Victoria, and wherever you are 
may you sneeze sweetly."^ "Eestitutus has many times 
deceived many girls." (Written on a wall.) "Romula 
keep tryst here with Staphylus." 

Some lovers expressed themselves in verse, thus : — 

" If any man seek 

My girl from me to turn, 
On far-off mountains bleak. 

May Love the scoundrel burn ! " 

1 Primua was evidently a trusted house agent, even if still a slave. 

2 To sneeze implied having good luck. 


Again, — 

" If you a man would be, — 

If you know what love can do, — 
Have pity and suffer me 

With welcome to come to you." 

Notice by a gamester, " At Nuceria, I won 855j denarii 
[about $138] by gaming, — fair play." 

Notice about the advent of some young pigs or puppies, 
" On October 17 Puteolana had a litter of three males and 
two females." 

Proverbs, " The smallest evil if neglected, will reach the 
greatest proportions." "If you want to waste your time, 
scatter millet and pick it up again." 

[There are also a good many quotations from the Latin poets 
marked on the walls by school children, lovers, and others ; Ovid, 
Vergil, Lucretius, and divers other poets are represented. Thus 
we find the familiar " Arma virtimqtie cano " scratched by some 
school boy.] 

Copies of Wax Tablets relating to Business Transactions 

[These are not scratched on the walls, but are business docu- 
ments found carefully packed in a wooden box in the house of 
Lucius Caecilius Jucundus, which was excavated in 1875. The 
wooden bases of the tablets had turned to charcoal, but it was 
possible to decipher much of the writing.] 

Entry of account of Umbricia Januaria. Umbricia 
Januaria declares that she has received from Lucius 
Caecilius Jucundus 11,039 sesterces [about $440] which 
sum came into the hands of Lucius Caecilius Jucundus by 
agreement as the proceeds of an auction sale for Umbricia 
Januaria, the commission due him having been deducted. 


" Done at Pompeii, on the 12th of December, in the con- 
sulship of Lucius Duvius and Publius Clodius." (56 a.d.) 
(Many witnesses follow.) 

(A receipt.) " On the 18th of June in the duumvirate of 
Lucius Veranius Hypsseus and Lucius Albucius Justus, I, 
Privatus,* slave of the colony of Pompeii, declared in writ- 
ing that I had received from Lucius Csecilius Jucundus 1675 
sesterces [about $67], and previous to this day, on June 
6, I received 1000 sesterces [about $40] as rent for the 
public pasture. 

"Done at Pompeii in the consulship of Gnaeus Fonteius 
and Gains Vipstanus " (59 a.d.). (Many witnesses follow.) 

1 The city of Pompeii, evidently, like other ancient towns, owned slaves 
in its corporate capacity ; and these men might he petty officials of some 
importance, and intrusted with the letting of the puhlic property. 



The last three pagan centuries were a period of great religious 
and intellectual unrest. Probably never was there an age when 
a greater proportion of educated men were religious skeptics than 
, the last era of the Eoman Republic. For example, Julius Csesar 
was as close to being an atheist as any great figure in history. 
Then came the revival of the formal state religion by Augustus 
for the real purpose, probably, of fostering mere public morality 
and good citizenship throughout the unthinking masses. But 
behind this formal revival of the old religion went au awakening 
craving among intelligent persons for something better. The selfish - 
materialism of the Epicureans could not satisfy them, nor the cold 
formulas of the nobler forms of Greek philosophy. The dissatis- 
faction with the old religion and the desire for one nobler had 
assumed three distinct forms before the final triumph of Christi- 
anity. These were ; (I) a bold and audacious criticism of the old 
Grseco-Roman religion as presented in its original forms (cf. se- 
lection 100). (II) The development of the Stoic philosophy which 
represented what were ethically some of the noblest products of 
ancient intelligence, and which was the result of a sincere and 
painful seeking after God on the part of many souls who were 
alike disgusted with the old " Olympian " system, and with the 
later selfish atheism. (Ill) The spread of Oriental religions over 
the West, — religions which were avowedly mere additions to the 
Groeco-Roman system, but which had in them a spiritual appeal, 
a promise of immortality, a pledge of reconciliation with God, such 
as never entered into the cults of Jupiter or Apollo. 

It is perfectly safe to assert that even if Christianity had never 
arisen, the religion of the Roman Empire would have undergone a 



pronounced change. From great incredulity the penduhim swung 
back to extreme credulity. There was firm credence — even among 
thoughtful men — in magic formulas, alleged miracles, dreams, 
ghosts, and the like. The last great pagan critic of Christianity, 
the Emperor Julian the Apostate (died 363), complained that the 
iniracles of Jesus were mean, puny, and unworthy of a son of 
God : and that a true deity would have wrought far greater onesr 
It is easy to cite passages illustrating the criticism of the older 
type of paganism, also examples from the Stoic philosophers, but 
the evidence for the later Oriental cults (Mithraism, Isis-worship, 
the cult of the " Great Mother,'' etc.) is not of a kind easy to pre- 
sent in a book like this, being mainly based on very scattered 
inscriptions. (See, however, § 108.) It should never be forgotten 
that Christianity triumphed because it met a need whereof the age 
was extremely conscious, a need whereof men were seeking a satis- 
faction most eagerly. 

100. A Skeptic's Mockery of the Multiplicity of 
Pagan Gods 

Lucian, " The Convention of the Gods." Adapted from the Bohn Translation 

How absurd the old pagan system seemed to educated men of 
the second century a.d. is illustrated by this keen satire by a 
clever and unbelieving Greek writer. Lucian had little use for 
Christianity : it comes in for a share of his ridicule, but few did 
more than he to prepare for the triumph of Christianity, by pulling 
down the fabric of time-honored superstitions on which the out- 
worn pagan religions rested. 

[The gods are in solemn assembly, discussing the right of new 
candidates — especially from barbarous countries — to their com- 
pany. Olympus is at length getting overpopulated. Momus — 
god of mockery — speaks to the following effect.] 

Now Attis, and Korybus and Sabaziu.s — from what part 
of the world have tliey been rolled in upon us, one after 
another? Or that Mithras the Median, with his Oriental 
mantle and tiara, who doesn't speak a word of Greek, so 


that even if one drink his health he doesn't understand. 
. . , And you with the dog-face [Anubis] the Egyptian, 
wrapped all up in linen, who are you, fine Sir, or how do 
you put in a claim to be divine with your barking ? And 
what is the meaning of this bull [Apis] from Memphis, that 
fipotted individual, being worshiped and delivering oracles, 
and having prophets ? I blush to speak of the ibises and 
apes and goats [which have . . .] stuffed Heaven from 
Egypt. . . . [Other evils nearer home in Greece are cited 
and] if you desire to end these evils, Zeus, I will read off a 
certain resolution, composed just now by me. 

Zeus [president of the assembly]. Read — for all your 
charges are not without some reason. 

[The decree is read. It is couched in the regular style of an 
Athenian decree and is to the foUowing effect.] 

In the name of God : 

In a lawfully convoked popiilar assembly, on the seventh 
day of the first decade of the month, under the presidency 
of Zeus,^ and the vice presidency of Poseidon, Apollo in the 
chair, Momus the son of Nux, acting as registrar and Hyp- 
nus brought forward the following motion. — Seeing that 
many unauthorized strangers, both Greeks and barbarians, 
have forced their way into the company of the gods, that the 
supply of ambrosia and nectar has begun to fail, that the 
great demand for them has sent the price up to a mina per 
jar, that strange gods shamelessly push themselves forward 
and turn the old gods out of their places : be it decreed that 
a commission of seven first-class gods be appointed to sift 
all claims of each of their colleagues, etc. 

Zeus. Very just Momus. All in favor hold up their 
hands ! Or rather let it be declared carried at once ; for I 
know the majority are against it. The Assembly is dis- 
missed. But be ready each of you with clear proofs of your 

i An accurate parody upou tbe Greek legal formula. 


titles, — the certificates of your father's and mother's uames, 
whence and how he or she became a divinity, his tribe, and 
fellow demesmen. All without these cannot be considered 
by the Commission. 

101. A Famous Eeligious Impostor of the Second 

Lucian: abridged in Friedlaender, "Roman Life and Manners." (English 
edition, vol. Ill, p. 131) 

While mere skepticism allied to the nobler Stoicism undermined 
the old reMgious faith of the educated classes, the multitude still 
kept its behef in the old gods, and was liable to be led off into all 
kiuds of absurd superstition. Under these conditions religious 
impostors were bound to reap rich harvests. 

Alexander [105-175 a.d.J was as a boy remarkable for 
his beauty. He was early instructed in magic arts, and 
wandered about the country, but at last resolved to found 
an oracle in his native town of Aboniteichos on account of 
the crass superstition of the people. Tablets of bronze 
were buried by him and conveniently dug up, announcing 
bhat Apollo and his son Asclepius were coming to Aboni- 
teichos. The inhabitants in delight began building a 
temple to Asclepius. Presently Alexander entered the 
town ; magnificently clad in a white and purple tunic and 
carrying a sickle in his hand, after the manner of the hero 
Perseus, whose son he claimed to be. The god Asclepius 
:s said to have revealed himself in the form of a snake. 
Prompted by Alexander the townsmen soon found an empty 
;oose egg, with a little snake within it, near the spot where 
;hey had begun the new temple. Soon afterward he exhib- 
ted a large tame snake — long in readiness — and the rapid 
jrowth of the divine snake seemed a matter of course. 

Appearing with the snake round his neck in a dimly 
ighted room, he thrust out from his robe a snake's head 


made of painted lineu, somewhat resembling a human face, 
the mouth of which could be opened and shut by a horse- 
hair attachment inside. Sometimes this snake uttered 
oracles ; more often questions propounded at the shrine 
were handed back with written answers. Vast crowds 
came to congidt the oracle. The fee was small, but the 
midtitude so vast that Alexander's profits were great. 
Many prominent people, Roman governors and the like, 
were among the inquirers. The time was one of famine, 
earthquake, pestilence, and the like, and the oracle affected 
to give sure directions for avoiding calamity. An occasional 
error or false prophesy did not injure its prestige. 

Alexander died at the age of seventy, full of honor, 
wealth, and influence. Even after his death it was believed 
that his statue in the market place of Parium in Mysia 
delivered oracles. 

102. The Nature of Demons 

Appuleius, " The God of Socrates." Works of Appuleius, chap, XX. 
Bohn Translation 

The second century a.d. was marked by a very waning faith 
in the old gods among the educated classes, but it was not free 
from a recrudescence of curious theories as to the nature of the 
soul, nor from downright superstition. The writings of Appuleius, 
a very typical author, are sufficient evidence of this. It should 
be noticed that a pagan "demon," was by no means always 
a noxious creature like the later Christian " demon." 

According to a certain signification the human soul, 
even when it is still , situate in the body, is called a 
'* Demon." ... If then this is the case, a longing of the 
soul that is of good tendency is a good demon. Hence 
some think, that the blessed are called Eudaimones, the 
demon of whom is good, that is, whose mind is perfect 
in virtue. You may call this demon in our [Latin] lan- 
guage, according to my mode of interpretation by the name 


of " Genius," because this God, who is in the mind of 
every one, though immortal, is nevertheless after a certain 
manner generated with man; so that those prayers in 
which we implore the Genius, and which we employ when 
we embrace the knees (genua) of those whom we supplicate, 
seem to me to testify to this connection and union, since 
they comprehend in two words the body and the mind, 
through the communion and conjunction of which we exist. 

There is also another species of demons, according to a 
second signification, and that is the human soul after it has 
performed its duties in the present life, and quitted the 
body. I find that this is called in the ancient Latin Ian 
guage by the name of " Lemur." Now, of these Lemur*, s, 
the one who, undertaking the guardianship of his posterity, 
dwells in a house with propitious and tranquil influence, 
is called the " f amilar " Lar. But those who, having no 
fixed habitation of their own, are punished with vague 
wandering, as with a kind of exile, on account of the evil 
deeds of their life, are usually called "Larvae," thus be- 
coming a vain terror to the good, but a source of punish- 
ment to the bad. 

But when it is uncertain what is the allotted condition 
of any of these, and whether it is Lar or Larvae, it is called 
a God Manes, the name of God being added for the sake 
of honor. Tor only those are called Gods, who being in 
the number of the Lemures, and having regulated the 
course of their life justly and prudently, have later been 
celebrated by men as diviaities, and are generally wor- 
shiped with temples and religious rites. Such are, for 
example, Amphiaraus in Bceotia, Mopsus in Africa, Osiris 
in Egypt, and others in other nations, but especially 
Esculapiqs^ everywhere. All this distribution, however, 
has been made of those demons who once existed in a 
human body. 

1 The Greek Asclepius. 


But there is another species of demons, more exalted and 
august, not fewer in number, but far superior in dignity, 
who [in no wise attached to the body . . . ] preside over 
certain powers. In the number of these are Sleep and 
Love, which possess powers of a different nature ; Love, of 
exciting to wakefulness ; Sleep, of lulling to rest. 

From this more elevated order of demons Plato is of the 
opinion that a peculiar demon is allotted to every man, to 
be a witness and a guardian of his conduct in life, who, 
without being visible to any one, is always present, and is 
an overseer not only of his actions, but even of his thoughts. 
But when life is finished the soul has to return to its 
judges ; then the demon who has presided over it immedi- 
ately seizes and leads it as his charge to judgment, and is 
there present with it, while it pleads its cause ; and censures 
it if it is guilty of any untruthfulness ; corroborates what it 
says, if it asserts what is true, and conformably to its testi- 
mony, sentence is passed. 

[This demon] is entirely our guardian, our individual 
keeper, our watcher at home, our special regulator, a 
searcher into our inmost fibers, a reprover of our evil deeds, 
an approver of our good ones. He is our forewarner in 
uncertainty, our monitor in matters of doubt, our defender 
in danger, and our assistant in need. He is able also by 
dreams and by tokens, and perhaps even openly, when 
necessity demands it, to avert from you evil, to increase 
your blessings, to lighten your darkness, to regulate your 
prosperity, and modify your adversity. 

103. A Stoic on the Endurance of Hardship 

Seneca, " Essay on Providence," chap. IV. Bohn Translation 

Seneca, the prime minister of Nero, aflfected an austere stoical 
philosophy, that did not always correspond with the fact that he 
was among the wealthiest and most powerful men in Eome. 


Nevertheless, his theories are often very noble ; and in them we 
discover the best substitute paganism could present for Christianity. 
Indeed, there are even letters supposed to have been exchanged 
between Seneca and St. Paul, although these are clearly spurious. 

Prosperity comes to the mob and to the low-minded men 
as well as to the great, but it is the privilege of great men 
alone to send under the yoke^ the disasters and terrors 
of mortal life; whereas to be always prosperous, and to 
pass through life without a twinge of mental distress is to 
remain ignorant of one half of nature. You are a great 
man [no doubt] ; but how am I to know it, if Fortune sends 
you no chance to show your virtue ? You have entered the 
arena of the Olympic games, but no one else has done so ; 
you have the crown but not the victory. I do not congratu- 
late you as I would a brave man, but as one who has ob- 
tained a consulship, or a preetorship. You have gained 
dignity. I may say the same of every good man, if troublous 
circumstances have never given him a chance to show forth 
the strength of his mind. I think you unhappy because you 
have never been unhappy ; you have passed through your 
life without meeting an antagonist ; no one will know your 
powers, not even yourself. 

For a man cannot know himself without a trial ; no one 
has ever learnt what he could do without putting himself 
to the test ; for which reasons many have of their own free 
will exposed themselves to misfortunes which no longer 
came in their way, and have sought for an opportunity of 
making their virtue, which otherwise would have been lost 
in darkness, shine before the world. Great men, I say, 
often rejoice at crosses of fortune, just as brave soldiers do at 
wars. I recall hearing Triumphus, who was a gladiator in 
the reign of Tiberius Caesar, complaining about the scarcity 
of prizes. " What a glorious time," said he, " is past." [For] 

1 A humiliation inflicted upon a conquered army, making them wait 
between two spears while a third was fastened across the top. 


" valor is greedy of danger, and thinks only of whether it 
strives to go, not of what it will suffer, since even what it 
will suffer is part of its glory." . . . Go'd, I say, favors 
those whom He wishes to enjoy the greatest honors, when- 
ever He affords them the means of performing some exploit 
of spirit and courage, something not easily to be accom- 
plished. You can judge a pilot in a storm, a soldier in a 
battle. How can I know with how great a spirit you could 
endure poverty, if you overflow with riches ? 

Do not, I beg you, dread those things which the immortal 
Gods apply like spurs to our minds ; misfortune is virtue's 
opportunity. The recruit turns pale at the thought of a 
wound ; the veteran who knows that he has often won the 
victory after losing blood, looks boldly at his own flowing 
gore. In a like manner God hardens, reviews, and exer- 
cises those whom He tests and loves ; ^ those whom He 
seems to indulge He is keeping out of condition for their 
coming misfortune 

104. How A Stoic met Calamity in the Dats of 


Epictetua, " Discourses," book I, chap. 1 . Carter's Translatioii 

What meeting misfortune " like a Stoic " implied, is shown by this 
anecdote preserved from the evil days of Nero. Agrippinus was 
banished in 67 a.d. In such troublous days a part of the educa- 
tion of every man of the upper classes seems to have been the 
deliberate steeling himself to endure calamity. 

[Paconius Agrippinus, a famous Stoic, was put on trial before 
the Senate for disaffection to the Emperor. He did not deign 
even to appear to defend himself before such a servile body.] 

They brought Paconius the news, " You are this moment 
being tried before the Senate." 

1 Cf . " Whom the Lord loveth lie chasteueth." 

iooa.d.] the divine inspection 275 

"The case goes well, I trust," replied he, "but see — it is 
eleven, our time for exercise." 

As he took exercise, in came another messenger. 

" Condemned ! " he cried. 

" To exile," asked Paconius, " or to death ? " 


" And is my property confiscate ? " 

" It is not taken." 

" Well then, — let us go as far as Aricia, and dine there." ' 

105. How ALL Things are under the Divine 

Epictetus, " Discourses," book I, chap. 14. Cartel's Translation 

Epictetus, the famous freedman, philosopher, and Stoic, had an 
almost Christian concept of the power and goodness of God. 
Indeed the spread of teachings Hke his went far to make the 
world ready to accept Christianity. 

When a person asked Epictetus how any one might be 
convinced that each of his actions is under the inspection 
of God ; do you not think, says Epictetus, that all things 
are mutually bound together and united ? 

I do. 

Well, and do you not think that things on earth feel the 
influence of the heavenly bodies ? 


Else how do the trees come so readily, as if by God's 
express command ; bud, blossom, bring forth fruit and ripen 
it; then let it drop, and shed their leaves ... all when 
He says the word ? Whence again are there seen, on the 
increase and decrease of the moon, and the approach and 
departure of the sun, so great vicissitudes and changes to 
the direct contrary in earthly things ? Have then the very 

1 A town about 16 miles from Rome, and on the road to the region of 


leaves, and our own bodies, this connection and sympathy 
with the whole, and have not our souls much more ? But 
our souls are thus connected and intimately joined to God, 
as being indeed members and distinct portions of His 
essence ; and must He not be sensible of every movement 
of them as belonging, and with like nature to himself ? 

"But I cannot" — you say — "attend to all things at 
once." Why, does any one tell you that you have equal 
power with Zeus ? No ! but nevertheless He has assigned 
to each man a director, his own good " genius," and com- 
mitted him to his guardianship ; a director whose vigilance 
no slumbers interrupt, and whom no false reasoning can 
deceive. For to what better and more careful guardian 
could He have committed us ? So that when you have 
shut your doors, and darkened your room, remember never 
to say that you are alone, for you are not; but God is 
within, and your genius is within, and what need have they 
of light to see what you are doing ? 

Elsewhere Epictetus enjoins these rules to be followed by a 
trite philosopher. (From his "Manual," § XXXIII) 

Be for the most part silent, or speak merely what is 
necessary and in few words. We may, however, enter, 
though sparingly, into discourse sometimes, when occasion 
calls for it, but not on any of the common subjects, of gladi- 
ators, or horse races, or athletic champions, or feasts, the 
vulgar topics of conversation ; but principally not of men, 
so as either to blame or praise, or make comparisons. If 
you are able, then, by your own conversation, bring over 
that of your company to proper subjects, but if you happen 
to be taken among strangers, be silent. 

Let not your laughter be much, nor on many occasions, 
nor profuse. 

Avoid swearing, if possible, altogether; if not, as far as 
you are able. 


Avoid public and vulgar* entertainments, but if ever an 
occasion calls you to them, keep your attention upon the 
stretch that you may not slide imperceptibly into vulgar 
manners. For be assured that if a person be ever so sound 
himself, yet if his companion be infected, he who converses 
with him will be infected likewise. 

Provide things relating to the body no further than mere 
use ; as meat, drink, clothing, house, family. 

When you are going to confer with any one, and particu- 
larly those in a superior station, represent to yourself how 
Socrates or Zeno would behave in such a case, and you will 
not be at a loss to make proper use of whatever may occur. 

In parties of conversation avoid a frequent and excessive 
mention of your own actions and doings. For however 
agreeable it may be to yourself to mention the risks which 
you have run, it is not equally agreeable to others, to hear 
your adventures. . . . 

When you do anything from a clear judgment that it 
ought to be done, never shun the fact that you are seen to 
do it, even though the world should make a wrong suppo- 
sition about it, for if you do not act right, shun the action 
itself ; but, if you do, why are you afraid of those who 
censure you wrongly? 

106. Letters of Marcus Aurelius to his Master 
Front o 

Appendix to Meditations of Marcus Aurelius. Translated in Everyman 
Library Edition 

That Marcus Aurehus while "Ctesar" {i.e. Crown Prince) 
(about 150 A.D.) was not utterly engrossed in philosophy or the 
cares of state, is shown delightfully in these letters to Pronto, his 
beloved rhetoric teacher. We see by them a very simple and 
beautiful family life in the imperial household — a charming con- 
trast to the courts of some of the earlier Emperors. 

1 I.e. entertainments that catch the " vulgar," ignorant multitude. 


My dearest Master, — I am well. To-day I studied from 
the ninth hour of the night [3 p.m.] to the second hour 
[8 A.M.J of the day, after taking food. I then put on my 
slippers and from the second to the third hour had a most 
enjoyable walk up and down, my room. Then booted and 
cloaked — for so we were commanded to appear — I went 
to wait upon my lord the Emperor.* We went a^hunting, did 
doughty deeds, heard a rumor that boars had been caught, 
but there was nothing to see. Hovvever, we climbed a 
pretty steep hill, and in the afternoon returned home. I 
went straight to my books. Off with the boots, down with 
the cloak ! I spent a couple of hours in bed. I read Cato's 
speech on the Property of Pulchra, and another in which he 
impeaches a tribune. I think I have caught cold, whether 
from walking in slippers, or writing [an essay] badly, I 
don't know. To-day I seem to snivel more than usual. 
Well, I will pour oil on my head, and go off to sleep. I 
don't mean to put one drop in my lamp to-day, so weary 
am I from riding and sneezing. 

[Another letter from the country.] After attending to 
my throat [a cold still remaining] I went to my father [An- 
toninus Pius] and stood at his side as he sacrificed. Then 
to luncheon. What do you think I had to eat ? A bit of 
bread fairly big — while I watched others gobbling boiled 
beans, onions, and fish full of roe. Then we went to work 
at gathering the grapes with plenty of sweat and shouting, 
and as the quotation runs, " A few high-hanging clusters 
did we leave survivors of the vintage." After the sixth 
hour we returned home. I did a little [literary work] and 
poor work at that. Then I had a long gossip with my dear 
mother^ sitting on the bed. [After a talk about Fronto's 
wife and little daughter] the gong sounded, the signal that 
my father had gone to bath. We supped — after bathing — 

1 Antoninus Pius. ^ Hjg adoptive mother, wife of Antoninus Pius. 


in the wine cellar, and listened with enjoyment to the 
chatter of the rustics. 

[Another letter, puts the supposedly grave philosopher 
Caesar in a new light.] When my father returned home 
from the vineyards, I mounted my horse as usual and rode 
on ahead some little way. Well, there on the road was a 
herd of sheep, standing all crowded together as though the 
place were a desert with four dogs and two shepherds, but 
nothing else. Then one shepherd says to the other shep- 
herd, on seeing a number of horsemen, " I say, look at those 
riders: they do a deal of robbery." When I hear this, I 
clap spurs to my horse and ride straight for the sheep. 
In consternation the sheep scatter ; hither and thither they 
are fleeting and bleating. A shepherd throws his fork, and 
the fork falls on the horsemen who rode next to me. We 
make our prompt escape. 

[Fronto, writing to Marcus Aurelius of the latter's little 
daughters, says after a visit to the two baby princesses :'] 

I have seen your little ones, and no sight could have 
been more charming to me, for they are so like you in face 
that nothing could be more striking. I was well rewarded 
for my pains in journeying to Lorium, for the slippery 
road and the rough ascent. For I had two copies of your- 
self beside me. By the mercy of heaven they have healthy 
color and strong lungs! One clutched a piece of white 
bread, fit indeed for the child of a .prince ; one a hard black 
crust fit for the child of a true philosopher. In the pleas- 
ant prattle of their little voices I seemed to recognize already 
the clear tones of your harmonious speech. 

[And of his children, Marcus Aurelius once wrote :] To- 
day the weather is bad, and I feel ill at ease, but when my 

1 See version given in Cape's Age of the Antonines, p. 86. 


little girls are well, it seems that my own pains are of slight 
moment,' and the weather is quite fair. 

107. The Precepts of Marcus Aurelitts 

"Meditations of Marcus Aurelius," passim. Adapted ftoni Long's 

Never did a mighty ruler, actuated by noble theories, set 
for himself a higher standard of personal conduct than Marcus 
AureUus (reigned 161 to 180 a.d.). His "Meditations" were 
composed in large part whilst he was in camp on the Danube 
waging war against the Germanic invaders of tbe Empire. De- 
spite the lofty and courageous tone of these exhortations addressed 
to himself, despite the constant profession of trust in an aU good 
Deity, they are imbued with a profound spirit of pessimism and 
soul weariness. Marcus Aurelius courageously resolved to do his 
duty, but there was little real joy displayed in so doing. He 
lacked the enkindling hope and enthusiasm which possessed the 
persecuted Christians. 

[IX. 40.] Why dost thou not pray to the gods to give 
thee the faculty of not fearing the things which thou 
fearest, nor of desiring the things which thou desirest, nor 
of being pained at anything, rather than pray that any of 
these things should not happen ? For certainly if the gods 
can cobperate with men, they can cooperate for these pur- 

[VI. 30.] Eeverence the gods and help men. Short is 
life. There is only one fruit of this mundane life — a pious 
disposition and acts of social helpfulness. 

[IX. 1.] He who acts unjustly acts impiously. For 
since the universal Nature has made rational animals for 
the sake of one another to help one another according to 
their deserts, but in no way to injure one another, he who 
trangresses her will is clearly guilty of impiety towards the 
highest divinity. 


[III. 5.] Be cheerful and seek not external neip nor the 
tranquillity which others give. A man must stand erect, 
not be kept erect by others. 

[XI. 1.] This again is a property of a rational soul — 
love of one's neighbor. 

[III. 6.] [There is nothing better in life than] thy own 
mind's self-satisfaction in the things which it enables thee 
to do according to right reason. 

[VII. l.j There is nothing new: all things are both 
familiar and short lived. 

[II. 5.] Every moment think steadfastly as a Roman 
and as a man to do what thou hast in hand with perfect and 
simple dignity, and feeling of affection, and freedom and 
justice, and to give thyself relief from all other thoughts ; 
and thou wilt give thyself relief if thou dost every act in 
thy life as if it were the last. 

[VIII. 24. J Such as bathing appears to thee, — oil, sweat, 
dirt, filthy water, all things disgusting, — so is every part 
of life and everything [else]. 

[IV. 49.] Think of any trouble not that " this is a mis- 
fortune," but that " to bear it nobly is good fortune." 

[III. 12.] If thou workest at that which is before thee, 
following right reason seriously, vigorously, calmly, without 
allowing anything else to distract thee, but keeping thy 
divine part pure, as if thou were bound to give it back [to 
God] immediately ; if thou boldest to this, expecting noth- 
ing, fearing nothing, but satisfied with thy present activity 
according to nature, and with heroic truth in every word 
and sound that thou utterest, thou wilt live happy. And 
there is no man who is able to prevent this. 

[IV. 5.] Death is even as the act of being born is, — a 
mystery of nature.* 

I Marcus Aurelius makes it plain that he has no expectation — possihly 
no desire — of a personal immortality (IV. 21). 


108. Isis AND Hek Worship 
Appuleius, "The Golden Ass," book XI, passim. Bohn Translation 

In Appuleius's romance we are given a fairly clear idea of the 
cult of Isis, that Egyptian goddess who became almost naturalized 
in the Grseco-Roman world. Unfortunately the real dogmas of 
the devotees of Isis, like those of their rivals of Cybele, Mithras, 
etc., were genuine " mysteries " and their secrets have pei-ished 
with the last initiates, ^'ery likely the outward display of the 
other Oriental cults would have resembled that of Isis herein de- 
scribed ; and for any one of the prominent deities might it be 
claimed, as is here claimed for Isis, — that she is the true mani- 
festation of many other divinities. 

[The goddess Isis appears in a vision to Lucius, the supposed 
narrator of the story, and declares herself.] 

Behold me, I who am Nature, the parent of all things, 
the mistress of all elements, the primordial offspring of 
time, the supreme among the Divinities, the queen of de- 
parted spirits, whose one sole divinity the whole earth vener- 
ates under a manifold form. The "Mother of the Gods" is 
what the Phrygians call me, Cecropian Athena I am styled 
at Athens, Paphian Aphrodite by the Cyprians in their sea- 
girt isle, Artemis Dictynna by the arrow-bearing Cretans, 
and the ancient goddess Demeter by the Eleusinians. But 
those who are illuminated by the iirst rays of that holy 
divinity the Sun — the Ethiopians and the Egyptians so 
wise in the ancient lore, who worship me in the meetest 
fashion — they call me by my true name, Queen Isis. 

[And after further expatiating upon her power, Isis says :] 

Under my protection you will live happy, you will live 
glorious, and when having accomplished the span of this 
life you shall descend to the realms below, even there, dwell- 
ing as you shall in the Elysian fields, you shall frequently 
adore me. 


[A little later in the story is given this picture of a procession 
in honor of Isis.] 

The marchers were all finely arrayed in divers manners. 
One man was belted as a soldier, another came as a 
hunter with a short scarf, a hunting-knife and a javelin. 
There were those in the arms of gladiators, and one in 
the purple robes of a magistrate, another like a philos- 
opher with his cloak, his staff, his wooden clogged shoes 
and his goatish beard. There was a she-bear wearing the 
dress of a woman, an ape with a plaited straw hat on its 
head, and an ass on which wings were glued [as represent- 
ing Bellerophon]. 

After this merry masquerade the regular procession of the 
goddess advanced. There were women in white garments 
with vernal chaplets, scattering flowers along the way. 
Others sprinkled the streets with drops of balsam and other 
perfumes. Also there came a multitude of men and women 
with torches. After them musicians, then a host of both 
sexes who had been initiated into the sacred rites, resplen- 
dent in their white linen garments. The women had their 
anointed hair enveloped in a transparent veil, but the men 
had shaven and shining pates, and these " earthly stars " 
kept up an incessant tinkling upon brazen, silver and even 
golden sistra.* 

[Then followed the priests themselves all in white linen 
and each carrying some holy vessel, or sacred symbol ; e.g. a 
miniature palm tree of gold, or a golden corn-fan, and finally 
one came with a kind of ark] an effable symbol of sublime 
religion, the mysteries of which are forever to be kept in 
deep silence. It was of burnished gold, and consisted of a 
small urn, hollowed out most artistically, and covered with 
the wonderful Egyptian hieroglyphics. The spout of this 
urn was very long and not much elevated ; a handle was 

1 A kind of elaborate rattles, much used ia Oriental worships. 


attached to the other side, and projected from the urn with 
a wide sweep. On this lay an asp, uplifting its scaly, 
wrinkled and swollen throat, and embracing it with its 
winding folds.' 

1 The interpretation of tliis urn, the hieroglyphics, the snake, etc.; was ot 
course a part of the " mysteries " for the initiates. 


The fourth century was one of the most momentous epochs in 
history : in it the old paganism was dethroned, Christianity be- 
came the recognized religion of the civilized world, and the bar- 
barians effected such a lodgment within the decrepit Empire that 
its dissolution in the West became merely a matter of years. The 
story of this period cannot be told by a series of contemporary 
extracts, however numerous. StiU it is possible to illustrate a 
number.of phases of the last era before the downfall of the ancient 
world. In this chapter will be found iirst a few excerpts relating 
to typical persecutions of the Christians, then others illustrating 
the triumph of Christianity and the new and elaborate institutions 
of despotism with which Diocletian and Oonstantine strove to 
prop up the tottering empire, also a few pictures, e.g. from Am- 
mianus Marcellinus, of the splendor, luxury, and withal moral 
worthlessness which prevailed down to the greatest of historical 

As for the triumph of Christianity, no student of civilization 
will ever underestimate its importance. Here, again, conjecture 
loses itself asking what would have become of arts, laws, and 
letters if the Germanic invaders had conquered a world knowing 
no better deities than Jupiter or Isis. The victory of Christianity 
over paganism was, as the great German scholar Ulhom ^ has well 
said, "the purest ever won. For it was won by witnessing and 
enduring, by loving and suffering, by pouring out innocent blood." 
It was won by weak men and women, slaves often, opposed to the 
mightiest of governments and all the social and intellectual pride 
and prejudice of the civilized world. Nevertheless it is useless to 
expect to find a complete regeneration of the ancient world wrought 

1 See his Conflict of Christianity with Heathenism, p. 477. 


by the mere fiat of a Constantine. Christianity had imbued the 
Roman Empire very feebly with its vital spirit before the Empire 
perished from western Europe. Only in the nations which rose 
on the ruins of that Empire has Christianity been working out 
slowly and painfully the realization of its precepts. 

Turning to the secular side of this period, the importance of the 
governmental reforms of Diocletian and Constantine are not to be 
ignored — for it was their empire, with its absolute monarch and 
centralized corps of officials, which the medieval potentates had in 
mind when they looked back to Rome for law and example, not 
the Principate of Augustus with its Republican fictions. Nor 
again should the weakness of the Roman Empire and of its new 
despotic constitution be exaggerated. If the successors of Augustus 
ceased to rule in the west in 476 A.D., the successors of Constantine 
were to reign in Constantinople until 1453. A large part of the 
stability possessed by the Eastern Empire during its long history 
is to be attributed to the institutions given it by Diocletiafl and by 
the first Christian Emperors. 

109. Nero's Persecution of the Christians 

Tacitus, " Annals," book XV, chap. 44. Bohn Translation 

After the great fire of 64 a. d. Nero — to find some scapegoat 
for the calamity — singled out the Christians. The passage here 
given from Tacitus is of enormous importance. It testifies (1) 
that a generation after the Crucifixion the Christians were an ap- 
preciably numerous element in the population of Rome ; (2) that 
they drew their converts from the lowest classes; (3) that the 
educated classes, though regarding them as innocent of incen- 
diarism, considered them worthy of little pity. Tacitus was a 
boy in Rome when the persecution took place. 

[Not all the efforts of Nero to shift the onus for the fire 
at Rome from himself] availed to relieve him from the 
infamy of being believed to have ordered the conflagration 
[at Rome]. Therefore, to stop the rumor, he falsely 
charged with guilt, and punished with the most fearful 
tortures, the persons commonly called Christians, who were 


[generally] hated for their enormities. Christus, the 
founder of that " name, " ^ was put to death as a criminal by 
Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea, in the reign of Tiberius, 
but the pernicious superstition — repressed for a time, broke 
out yet again, not only through Judea, — where the mischief 
originated, but through the city of Eome also, whither all 
things horrible and disgraceful flow from all quarters, as to 
a common receptacle, and where they are encouraged. Ac- 
cordingly first those were arrested who confessed they were 
Christians; next on their information,^ a vast multitude 
were convicted, not so much on the charge of burning the 
city, as of " hating the human race." 

In their very deaths they were made the subjects of 
sport : for they were covered with the hides of wild beasts, 
and worried to death by dogs, or nailed to crosses, or set 
fire to, and when the day waned, burned to serve for the 
evening lights. Nero offered his own garden players for the 
spectacle, and exhibited a Circensian game, indiscriminately 
mingling with the common people in the dress of a 
charioteer, or else standing in his chariot. For this cause a 
feeling of compassion arose towards the sufferers, though 
guilty and deserving of exemplary capital punishment, be- 
cause they seemed not to be cut off for the public good, but 
were victims of the ferocity of one man. 

110. How A Temalb Maktte faced Heb Pbbsecutors 

Extracts from the " Memoirs of St. Perpetua of Carthage." Translated 
in Workman, "Persecution in the Early Church," p. 319 

St. Perpetua was put to death about 212 a.d. She wrote her 
own story of her experieuces in prison, relating herself the narra- 
tive almost down to the time of her actual martyrdom, when other 
hands completed the story. Few documents give us the uncompro- 

1 I.e. religious following or sect. Note how Tacitus takes the fact of the 
historical existence of Jesus and of his crucifixion as a matter of course. 

2 Doubtless wrung from them by torture. 


mising spirit of the early Christians better than this. For the 
pagan side of a " persecution story " see the very important letter 
of Pliny the younger to Trajan on page 219. 

When I was in the hands of the persecutors, my father in 
his tender solisitude ^ tried hard to pervert me from the faith. 

" My father," I said, " you see this pitcher. Can we call 
it by any other name than what it is ? " 

" No," he said. 

" Nor can I," [I said], " call myself by any other name 
than that of Christian." 

So he went away, but, on the rumor that we were to be 
tried, wasted away with anxiety. 

"Daughter," he said, "have pity on my gray hairs; have 
pity on thy father. Do not give me over to disgrace. Be- 
hold thy brothers, thy mother, and thy aunt: behold thy 
child who cannot live without thee. Do not destroy us all." 

Thus spake my father, kissing my hands, and throwing 
himself at my feet. And I wept because of my father, for 
he alone of all my family would not rejoice in my martyr- 
dom. So I comforted him, saying: 

"In this trial what God determines will take place. We 
are not in our own keeping, but in God's." So he left me — 
weeping bitterly. 

[Perpetua and another Christian woman, Felicitas, were 
tossed and gored by a bull ; but despite cruel manglings yet 
survived. Perpetua, says a sympathizing recorder] seemed 
in a trance. " When are we to be tossed ? " she asked, and 
could scarcely be induced to believe that she had suffered, in 
spite of the marks on her body. [They were presently 
stabbed to death by gladiators] after having exhorted the 
others to " stand fast in the faith and love one another," she 
guided to her own throat the uncertain hand of the young 

> She was a young wife and mother of barely twenty-two years. 


111. Cebtii'icate of having sacrificed to the 

Pagan Gods 

Issued In Egypt during the persecution of Decius from a Papyrus found 
in the Fayflm District in 1893. Quoted in Workman, "Persecu- 
tions in the Eariy Church," p. 340 

About 250 A.D., during Decius's short but furious persecution, 
persons suspected of Christianity were evidently obliged to clear 
themselves by sacrificing to the old gods, then taking out a cer- 
tificate to protect themselves against further legal proceedings. 
This example comes from a small vilLige in Egypt. 

To the Commissioners of Sacrifice oj the Village of Alexan- 
der's Island : from Aurelius Diogenes, the son of Satabus, of 
the Village of Alexander's Island, aged 72 years : — scar on 
Ms right eyebrow. 

I have always sacrificed regularly to the gods, and now, 

vtt your presence, in accordance with the edict, I have done 

•sacrifice, and poured the drink offering, and tasted of the 

sacrifices, and I request you to certify the same. Farewell. 

Handed in by me, Aurelius Diogenes. 

I certify that I saw him sacrificing . . . ^ 

Done in the first year of the Emperor, Caesar Gains 
Messius Quintus Trajanus Decius, Pius, Pelix, Augustus: 
the second of the month Epith.^ 

112, How THE EoMAN Officials tkied to seize 

Christian Books in 303 a.d. 

Workman, "Persecutions in the Early Church" (p. 272), quoting "Deeds 
of Zenophilus," an early Christian writing 

In the great persecution started by Diocletian an especial efibrt 
was made to seize all the copies of the Christian scriptures, in the 

1 The magistrate's signature is obliterated. 
« Jane 26, 250 a.d. 


hope of depriving the persecuted sect of the means of preserving 
and propagating its doctrines. The following tells how the search 
for the books was conducted in Cirta, an important city of Numidia. . 

When [the magistrates and a policeman, guided by the 
apostizing secretaries of the Bishop] came to the house of 
Felix the tailor, he brought out five books, and when they 
came to the house of Projectus he brought out five big and 
two little books. Victor the schoolmaster brought out two 
books, and four books of five volumes each. Felix the 
"Perpetual Flamen"^ said to him, 

" Bring your Scriptures out : you have more." 

Victor the schoolmaster said, "If I had had more I 
should have brought them out." 

When they came to the house of Eutychius who was a 
"Caesarian" [i.e. in the government civil service], the 
flamen said, " Bring out .your books that you may obey the 

" I have none," he replied. 

" Your answer," said Felix, " is taken down." ' 

At the house of Coddeo, Coddeo's wife brought out six 
books. Felix said, " Look and see if you have not got some 

The woman said, " I have no more." 

Felix said to Bos, the policeman, " Go in and see if she 
has any more." 

The policeman reported, "I have looked and found 

[Another account tells of a wily bishop, Mensurius of Carthage, 
who removed all the library of his church, but took care not to 
leave the shelves bare, but left a number of heretical works. 
These the pagans seized and were satisfied with, to the secret glee 
of the orthodox Christians.] 

1 A pagan priest helping with the search. 

s In order that you may be prosecuted if your assertion is false. 



Eusebius, " Life of Constantine," book I, chap. 24 S. Bagster's 

In 312 A. D. Constantine the Great, — already master of Gaul 
and Spain, — overthrew Maxentius, the evil ruler of Italy, at the 
Mulvian Bridge near to Rome. The victory was followed by dec- 
larations by Constantine in favor of Christianity, although he did 
not formally become a Christian himself until on his deathbed. 
The story of his great change towards a hitherto despised and 
persecuted sect, naturally became the subject of miraculous and 
semimiraculous stories among the delighted Christians. The 
narrative given by Eusebius, represents at least what was repeated 
in Constantine's own lifetime by his Christian subjects. 

God the Supreme Governor of the world appointed Con- 
stantine to be prince and sovran ... so that while others 
have been raised to this eminence by the election of their 
fellow men, he is the only one to whos^ elevation no mortal 
may boast to have contributed. 

As soon as he was established on the throne, he began to 
care for the interests of his paternal inheritance [especially 
Gaul and Britain], and visited with much considerate kind- 
ness all those provinces which had previously been under 
his father's government. 

[Having subdued various barbarian neighbors of his part 
of the Empire, he beheld Rome the imperial city oppressed 
by the tyranny of Maxentius, emperor of Italy and Africa, 
and Constantine speedily resolved to deliver her.] Being 
convinced however that he needed some more powerful aid 
than his military forces could afford him, on account of the 
wicked and magical enchantments which were so diligently 
practiced by the tyrant, he began to seek for Divine assistance, 
[as more important even than] weapons, and a huge army. 
[He considered how divers emperors had invoked the 
heathen gods yet had come to destruction.] On the other 


baud he recollected that his father, who had pursued an en- 
tirely opposite course, who had condemned their error 
and honored one supreme God during his whole life, had 
found Him to be the Savior and Protector of his Empire, 
and the Giver of every good thing. 

Accordingly he called on Him with earnest prayer and 
supplications that He would reveal to him who He was, and 
stretch forth His right hand to help him in his present 
difficulties. And while Gonstantine was thus praying with 
fervent entreaty, a most marvelous sight appeared to him 
in heaven, the account of which might have been difficult to 
receive with credit had it been related by any other person. 
But since the victorious emperor himself not long afterward 
declared it to the writer of this history, when he was honored 
with his acquaintance and society, and confirmed this state- 
ment with an oath,^ who could refuse to accredit the relation, 
since the testimony of after times has established its truth.? 
He said that about mid-day, when the sun was beginning to 
decline, he saw with his own eyes the trophy of a cross of 
light in the heavens, above tlie sun, and bearing the inscrip- 
tion " BY THIS CONQUEB." * At this sight he himself was 
struck with amazement, and his whole army also, which 
happened to be following kirn on some expedition and wit- 
nessed the miracle. 

He said, also, that he doubted within himself what this 
apparition could mean. [Presently he fell asleep] and in 
his sleep the Christ of God appeared to him with the same 
sign which he had seen in the heavens, and commanded 
him to procure a standard made in the likeness of that sign, 
and to use it as a safeguard in all engagements with his 

I Gonstantine clearly saw the value of Christian support and how by 
ciicnlating the story of this wonder he could give his cause a divine sanc- 
tion which would encourage the Christians to adhere to him. 

9 " In hoc signo vincei." 


At dawn of day he arose and told hig friends his secret, 
then he called together his goldsmiths and jewelers, and 
sat in their midst, and described to them, the figure of the 
sign which he had seen, bidding them copy it in gold and 
precious stones. It was made in the following manner. A 
long spear overlaid with gold formed the figure of the cross 
by means of a piece transversely laid over it. On the top 
of the whole was fixed a crown, formed by the intertexture 
of gold and precious stones ; and thereon were two letters 
indicating the name of Christ, . . . the [Greek] letter P 
[Latin 22] being intersected by X [Latin CH] exactly in 
its center ; and these letters the Emperor was in the habit 
of wearing on his helmet at a later period. From the traverse 
piece which crossed the spear [was a purple streamer, 
embroidered with jewels and gold ; and on the staff hung a 
square banner bearing] a golden portrait, half length, of 
the pious Emperor and of his children. 

[Constantine now devoted himself to the study of 
Christianity and the Bible,] and he made the priests of 
God his councilors and deemed it incumbent upon him to 
honor the God who appeared to him with all devotion. 
After this, being fortified by well-grounded hopes in Him, 
he undertook to quench the fury of the fire of tyranny. 

[Meantime Maxentius at Koine was giving himself utterly 
over to deeds of cruelty and lust, aud on one occasion caused 
his guards to massacre a great multitude of the Roman 

In short it is impossible to describe the manifold acts of 
oppression by which this tyrant of Rome oppressed all his 
subjects; so that by this time they were reduced to the 
most extreme penury and want of necessary food, a scarcity 
such as our contemporaries do not remember ever to have 
existed before at Rome. 

Constantine, however, filled with compassion on account 
of all these miseries, began to arm himself with all warlike 


preparations against the tyranny, and marched with his 
forces eager to reinstate the Romans in the freedom they 
had inherited from their ancestors. . . . The Emperor, 
accordingly, confiding in the help of God, advanced against 
the first, second, and third divisions of the tyrant's forces, 
defeated them all with ease at the first assault, and made 
his way into the very interior of Italy. 

Already he was close to Eome, when to sav-e him from the 
need of fighting with all the Eomaus for the tyrant's sake, 
God Himself drew the tyrant, as it were by secret cords, a 
long way outside the gates. For once, as in the days of 
Moses and the Hebrew nation, who were worshipers of 
God, He cast Pharaoh's chariots and his host into the waves 
of the Red Sea, so at this time did Maxentius, and the sol- 
diers and guards with him, sink to the bottom as a stone, 
when in his flight before the divinely aided forces of Con- 
stantine, he essayed to cross the river [the Tiber] which lay 
in his way, over which he had made a strong bridge of 
boats, and had framed an engine of destruction — really 
against himself, but ii> hope of ensnaring thereby him who 
was beloved by God. [But God brought this engine to be 
Maxentius's undoing :] for the machine, erected on the 
bridge with the ambuscade concealed therein, giving way 
unexpectedly before the appointed time, the passage began 
to sink down, and the boats with the men in them went 
bodily to the bottom. And first the wretch himself, then 
his armed attendants and guards, even as the sacred oracles 
had before described " sank as lead in the mighty waters." 
[So- Constantine and his men might well have rejoiced, even 
as did Moses and the Israelites over the fate of Pharaoh's 
host in the Red Sea.] 

Then Constantine entered the imperial city in triumph. 
And here the whole body of the Senate, and others of rank 
and distinction in the city — freed as it were from the 
restraint of a prison, along with the whole Roman populace, 


their faces expressing the gladiiess in their hearts, received 
him with acclamations and excess of joy — men, women, 
and children, with countless multitudes of servants, greet- 
ing him as "Deliverer, Preserver, and Benefactor" with 
incessant plaudits. 


Sozomen, "Ecclesiastical History," book II, chap. 3. Bohn Translation 

Nothing that Oonstantine the Great did shows his ability more 
clearly than his seizing upon the site of old Byzantium for the 
location for his new capital. The place was admirably suited for 
an imperial residence, being over against Asia which the Persians 
were threatening, and in easy touch with the Danube, where the 
Northern Barbarians were always swarming. Note that Con- 
stantinople was from the outset (330 a.d.) a Christian city; as 
contrasted with old Rome, where paganism still kept a firm grip, 
at least on much of the population, for nearly a century. 

The Emperor [Constantine] always intent on the advance- 
ment of religion erected splendid [Christian] temples to 
God in every place — especially in great cities such as 
Nicomedia in Bithynia, Antioch on the Orontes, and 
Byzantium. He greatly improved this latter city, and 
made it equal to Eome in power and influence; for when 
he had settled his empire as he was minded, and had freed 
himself from foreign foes, he resolved on founding a city 
which should be called by his own name, and should equal 
in fame even Eome. With this intent he went to the plain 
at the foot of Troy on the Hellespont . . . and here he 
laid out the plan of a large and beautiful city, and built 
gates on a high spot of ground, whence they are still visible 
from the sea to sailors. But when he had proceeded thus 
far, God appeared to him by night and bade him seek 
another site for his city. 

Led by the divine hand, he came to Byzantium in Thrace, 


beyond Chalcedon in Bithynia, and here he desired to build 
his city, and render it worthy of the name of Constantine. 
In obedience to the command of God, he therefore enlarged 
the city formerly called Byzantium, and surrounded it with 
high walls ; likewise he built splendid dwelling houses ; and 
being aware that the former population was not enough for . 
so great a city, he peopled it with men of rank and their 
families, whom he summoned from Rome and from other 
countries. He imposed [special] taxes to cover the ex- 
penses of building and adorning the city, and of supplying 
the inhabitants with food. He erected all the needed 
edifices [for a great capital] — a hippodrome, fountains, 
porticoes and other beautiful adornments. He named it 
Constantinople and New Rome, — and established it as the 
Roman capital for all the inhabitants of the North, the 
South, the East, and the shores of the Mediterranean, from 
the cities on the Danube and from Epidamnus and the 
Ionian Gulf to Cyrene and Libya. 

He created another Senate which he endowed with the 
same honors and privileges as that of Rome, and he strove 
to render the city of his name equal in every way to Rome 
in Italy ; nor were his wishes in vain, for by the favor of 
God, it became the most populous and wealthy of cities. 
As this city became the capital of the Empire during the 
period of [Christian] religious prosperity, it was not 
polluted by altars, Grecian temples, nor [pagan] sacrifices. 
Constantine also honored this new city of Christ by adorn- 
ing it with many and splendid houses of prayer, in which 
the Deity vouchsafed to bless the efforts of the Emperor by 
giving sensible manifestations of his presence.* 

^ Sozomen goes on to state a remarkable miracle of healing at one of 
the churches iu Coustaatinople. 


115. A Cheistian's Testimony to the Divine 
Sanction for the Roman Empire 

Autelius Prudentius, Foem "Against Symmaclius " 

The following was written about 400 a.d. or a little later. It 
shows how the Christian writers joined with the pagan in ascribing 
universal and abiding sovereignty to Rome, — only they would see 
in this the favor of Christian Providence, not of Jupiter, Mars, and 
the other heathen deities. The theory that there must be one uni- 
versal (Catholic) Church and one universal Empire possessed the 
Christians very speedily after the Roman government ceased to 
persecute them. 

Roman, wouldst thou have me tell what is the true 
cause of thy triumphs, the hidden seat of thy glory, the 
arms by which thou hast enchained the world ? It is 
God. . ". . 

From the shores of the Western Ocean even unto the 
glittering sea whei'e the day springs, war aforetime vexed 
humanity. Hands cruel and ever armed knew only to smite 
and how to wound. God desired to tame their rage. He 
taught the people to bow their head under one law ; to be- 
come one and all Romans, even all those who dwelt hard by 
the Rhine and the Danube, from the Elbe to the vasty deep, 
from the Tagus to the fleece of gold,^ and those whose cities 
the Po courses, or where goes the Nile with her tepid waters, 
fertilizing the fields, ere she loses herself through her seven 
mouths. An equal law has made all men equal. The same 
name has bound them together. The chain which assures 
their obedience has become the chain of fraternal concord. 
No matter where we are in the loorld we live as fellow citizens,^ 
born close by one to another, inclosed within the circuit of 
the same city, and grown up at the same domestic hearth. 

1 Colchis in the Euxine region. 

* There are few truer or stronger statements of the work of unificatioo 
wrought by the Roman Empire than this. 


This hath been wrought by so many successes and tri- 
umphs of Rome. Now, verily, the way is made straight for 
the coming of Christ ; whilst peace and public concord pre- 
vail far and wide under a mild governance. Rome and Peace 
are the two bonds of the universe, and now are they blended 
in one. ' Christ, thou didst not permit the dominion of 
Rome without Peace [as her consort]. For Peace is Thy 
delight, and that Peace is wrought by the excellence of 
Rome : — [of Rome] who knows as well how to govern as 
she knows how to vanquish.* 

116. How St. Ambeose Humiliated Theodosiits 
THE Great 

Theodoret, "Ecclesiastical History," book V, chaps. 17 and 18. 
Bohn Translation 

What vast power the Christian bishops and clergy were able to 
assume less than one hundred years after they ceased to be subject 
to dire persecution, is shown by the following story of the humiha- 
tion and penance St. Ambrose, the masterful bishop of Milan, 
inflicted upon Theodosius I, the last ruler of the undivided 

Thessalonica is a large and populous city, in the province 
of Macedonia. [In consequence of a sedition there] the 
anger of the Emperor [Theodosius] rose to the highest 
pitch, and he gratified his vindictive desire for vengeance 
by unsheathing the sword most unjustly, and tyrannically 
against all, slaying the innocent and guilty alike. It is 
said 7000 perished without any forms of law, and without 
even having judicial sentence passed upon them ; but that, 
like ears of corn in the time of harvest, they were alike cut 

When Ambrose [Bishop of Milan] heard of this deplor- 

1 There is infinite irony in the fact that these proud lines were written 
very shortly before the great Empire began to dissolve, 


able catastrophe, he went out to meet the Emperor, who — 
on his return to Milan — desired as usual to enter the holy- 
church, but Ambrose prohibited his entrance, saying, "You 
do not reflect, it seems, Emperor, on the guilt you have 
incurred by that great massacre ; but now that your fury is 
appeased, do you not perceive the enormity of your crime? 
You must not be dazzled by the splendor of the purple you 
wear, and be led to forget the weakness of the body which 
it clothes. Your subjects, Emperor, are of the same 
nature as yourself, and not only so, but are likewise your 
fellow servants ; for there is one Lord and Ruler of all, and 
He is the Maker of all creatures, whether princes or people. 
How would you look upon the temple of the one Lord of 
all ? How could you lift up in prayer hands steeped in the 
blood of so unjust a massacre ? Depart then, and do not by 
a second crime add to the guilt of the first." 

The Emperor, who had been brought up in the knowledge 
of Holy Writ, and who knew well the distinction between 
the ecclesiastical and the temporal power, submitted to the 
rebuke, and with many tears and groans returned to his 
palace. More than eight months after, occurred the festival 
of our Saviour's birth. The Emperor shut himself up in 
his palace . . . and shed floods of tears. 

[After vain attempts by intermediaries to appease the 
bishop, Theodosius at last went to Ambrose privately and 
besought mercy, .saying], " I beseech you, in consideration 
of the mercy of our common Lord, to unloose me from these 
bonds, and not to shut the door which is opened by the 
Lord to all that truly repent." [Ambrose stipulated that 
the Emperor should prove his repentance by recalling his 
unjust decrees, and especially by ordering] " that when sen- 
tence of death or of proscription has been signed against 
any one, thirty days are to elapse before execution, and on 
the expiration of that time the case is to be brought again 
before you, for your resentment will then be calmed [and 


you can justly decide the issue]." The Emperor listened to 
this advice, and deeming it excellent, he at once ordered 
the law to be drawn up, and himself signed the document. 
St. Ambrose then unloosed his bonds. 

The Emperor, who was full of faith, now took courage to 
enter holy church, [where] he prayed neither in a standing, 
nor in a kneeling posture, but throwing himself on the 
ground. He tore his hair, struck his forehead, and shed 
torrents of tears, as he implored forgiveness of God. [Am- 
brose restored him to favor, but forbade him to come inside 
the altar rail, ordering his deacon to say], "The priests 
alone, Emperor, are permitted to enter within the barriers 
by the altar. Retire then, and remain with the rest of 
the laity. A purple robe makes Emperors, but not 
priests." . . . 

[Theodosius uttered some excuses, and meekly obeyed, 
praising Ambrose for his spirit, and saying], "Ambrose 
alone deserves the title of ' bishop.' " 

117. A Part op the Register op Dignitaries op the 
Roman Empire 

Portion of the "Kotitia Dignitatum." Translated in the University of 
Pennsylvania Historical Reprints, vol. VI, No. 4 

Whether this document dates from about 402 a.d. or whether 
from before 378 a.d. is a little uncertain. Probably the former 
date is correct ; in any event it gives a good idea of the endless 
gradations and extreme elaboration of later Roman officialdom ; 
how every person, high or low, tended to settle into a "status"; 
and how, as the spirit died out of the old society, accent upon the 
form and letter grew ever more extreme. Yet this governmental 
machine was not useless ; it kept up the administration under 
very bad and weak Emperors, and probably prolonged the life of 
the Empire not a little. It is impossible to cite more than a very 
small portion of this catalogue of high officers. 



Register of the Dignitaries both Civil and Military in the 
Districts of the East ^ 

The Praetorian Praefect of the East. 

The Preetoriau Praefect of Illyricum. 

The Praefect of the City of Constantinople. 

Two Masters of the horse and foot in the presence [of the 

Emperor — i.e. at Court?]. 
The Master of the horse and foot in the East. 
The Master of the horse and foot in Thrace. 
The Master of the horse and foot in Illyricum. 
The Provost of the " Sacred " Bedchamber. 
The Master of the Offices. 
The Quaestor. 

The Count of the " Sacred " Largesses. 
The Count of the Private Domains. 
Two Counts of the Household Troops. 
The Superintendent of the " Sacred " Bedchamber. 
The Chief of the Notaries. 
The Warden of the " Sacred " Palace. 
The Masters of the Bureaus [of government]. 

of memorials. 

of correspondence. 

of requests. 

of Greek [correspondence]. 
Two Proconsuls : of Asia and of Aehaia. 
The Count of the East. [Diocese embracing Syria and 

The Augustal Praefect. [Governing Egypt.] 
Four Vicars : for [the diocese] of Asia, of Pontus, of Thraces, 

of Macedonia. 
Two military Counts ; of Egypt, and of Isauria [district in 
Asia Minor]. 

1 The ofiScials for the West appear on a separate list here omitted. 


Thirteen " Dukes." ^ [Their districts are given.] 
Fifteen " Consulars." [Their districts are given.] 
Forty " Presidents." [Their districts are given.] 
Two " Correctors." [Their districts are given.] 

The Praetorian Prcefect of the East. Under the control of 

the "Illustrious"^ praetorian prsefect of the East are the 

dioceses below mentioned, of the East, of Egypt, of Pontus, 

of Thrace : — 

Provinces of [the diocese of the East] fifteen, — Palestine, 
Phoenicia, Cilicia, Cyprus, Arabia . . . Isauria, Pales- 
tina salutaris, Palestina secunda, Mesopotamia, etc. 

Provinces of the diocese of Egypt five [list given]. 

Provinces of the diocese of Asia ten [list given]. 

Provinces of the diocese of Pontus ten [list given]. 

Provinces of the diocese of Thrace six [list given]. 

The staff of the illustrious praetorian prafect of the East : 
a chief of staff, a chief deputy, a chief assistant, a custo- 
dian, a keeper of records, a receiver of taxes, a curator 
of correspondence, a registrar [and many more]. 

[And similar lists are given for the other Praetorian 

The Master of the Soldiery in the [/mperiaZ] Presence. 
Under the command of the illustrious Master of the Sol- 
diery in the Presence are : — 
Five squadrons of " Palatine " horse : — 

The " senior promoted " horse. 

The companion cuirassiers. 

The junior companion archers. 

The companion Taifalians. 

The Arcadian horse. 

1 The Dukes are military officers : the last three grades of officials 
named are provincial goveruors. 

2 " Illustrious "was the highest official title in the later Empire, next 
in honor was " Worsliipful" (Spectabiliis), and next "Right Honorable" 
iClarisaimus) . About all high dignitaries had one of these titles. 


Seven squadrons of the horse of the line : — 

[Names of the divisions follow. J 
Six " Palatine " [Infantry] Legions : — 

The senior lancers. 

The junior Jovians. 

The junior Herculeans. 

The Fortenses. 

The ISTervii. 

The junior Martiarii. 
Eighteen " Palatine " Auxilia : — 

[Names of divisions follow.] 

The staff of the aforesaid Master in the Presence is [made 
up from officers] enrolled with the forces and assigned to 
staff duty. It includes the officers named below : — 

A chief of staff. 

Two accountants. 

A custodian. 

Chief clerks who become accountants [and many others]. 

[Omitting the forces and subordinates of the "Master of the 
Soldiery in East," of the "Keeper of the Sacred Bedchamber," 
and of several high civil officials, a typical governmental depart- 
ment may be taken up.] 

Tlie Count of the Sacred Largesses. Under the control 
of the illustrious Count of the Sacred Largesses [are the 
following] : — 

The Counts of the Largesses in all the Dioceses. •* 
The Counts of the Markets : — 

In the East and in Egypt. 

In Moesia, Scythia, and Pontus. 

In Illyricum. 
The keepers of the storehouses. 
The Counts of the Metals in Illyricum. 


The Count and the Accountant of the general tribute of 

The accountants of the general tribute. 
The masters of the linen vesture. 
The procurators of the weaving houses. 
The procurators of the mints. 
The keepers of the goods dispatch. 
The procurators of the linen weavers. 

The staff of the aforesaid Count of the Sacred Largesses 
includes : — 

The chief clerk of the whole staff. 
The chief clerk of the bureau of fixed taxes. 
The chief clerk of the bureau of accounts. 
The clerk of the bureau of gold bullion. 
The chief clerk of the bureau of gold for shipment [and 
many other clerks, etc.]. 

[The other great civil ministers have a similar corps of aids and 
deputies in the provinces or at the central bureau at Constantinople.] 

118. How Theodosius the Great steuck awe into 
THE Goths 

Jordanes, " History of the Goths," chap. 28. Mierow's Translation 

Theodosius I, a clever Spaniard, became Emperor of the East 
in 378 A.D. The Visigoths — Mlowing the battle of Adrianople, 
were overrunning the Balkan peninsula, but he skillfully checked 
them, and made a truce. The awe and majesty of the Roman 
name was still potent with the Barbarians, and in what manner 
they were dazzled by the seeming strength and impregnability of 
Constantinople is here explained. 

[After the Emperor Theodosius I had made a truce with 
the Goths] he gave gifts to their King Athanaric, who had 
succeeded King Fritigern, made an alliance with him and in 
the most gracious manner invited him to visit him in Con- 

370 A. D.] LUXURY OF THE RICH 305 

stantinople. Athanaric very gladly consented and as he 
entered the royal city exclaimed in wonder, " Lo, now I see 
what I have often heard of with unbelieving ears," meaning 
the great and famous city. Turning his eyes hither and 
thither, he marveled as he beheld the situation of the city, 
the coming and going of the ships, the splendid walls, and 
the people of divers nations gathered like a flood of waters 
streaming from different regions into one basin. 

So too when he saw the [Roman] army in array, he said, 
" Truly the Emperor is a god on earth, and whoso raises a 
hand against him is guilty of his own blood." In the midst 
of his admiration, and the enjoyment of even greater honors 
at the hand of the Emperor, he departed this life after a 
space of a few months.'^ 

The Emperor had such affection for him that he honored 
Athanaric even more when he was dead than in his lifetime, 
for he not only gave him a worthy burial, but himself 
walked before the bier at the funeral. Now when Athanaric 
was dead, his whole army continued in the service of the 
Emperor Theodosius and submitted to the Roman rule, form- 
ing as it were one body with the imperial soldiery : [and 
20,000 Goths served Theodosius valiantly in his successful 
war against the rebel Eugenius] . 

119. The Luxury and Akeogance of the Rich in 


Aminianus Uaicellinus, History: book XIV, cbap. 16. Bohn 

The following was written only about a generation before Alaric 
plundered Rome in 410 a.d. The emptiness, shallowness, lack of 
all real culture that prevailed in the ancient capital, and the dis- 
gust that an enforced sojourn in Rome produced on simple and 
honest-minded men, is very clearly set forth. Unless Ammianus 

iNo doubt the lavish Koman hospitality told on the good Barbarian's 
CODStitatioD I 


was giiilty of gross exaggeration, Rome had in his time ceased to 
represent anything for the world's betterment. 

[Despite the changes of the times] Eome is still looked 
upon as the queen of the earth, and the name of the Roman 
people is respected and venerated. But the [magnificance 
of Rome] is defaced by the inconsiderate levity of a few, 
who never recollect where they are born, but fall away into 
error and licentiousness as if a perfect immunity were 
granted to vice. Of these men, some, thinking that they 
can be handed down to immortality by means of statues, 
are eager after them, as if they would obtain a higher 
reward from brazen figures unendowed with sense than from 
a consciousness of upright and honorable actions ; and they 
are even anxious to have them plated over with gold ! 

Others place the summit of glory in having a couch 
higher than usual, or splendid apparel; and so toil and 
sweat under a vast burden of cloaks which are fastened to 
their necks by many clasps, and blow about by the excessive 
fineness of the material, showing a desire by the continual 
wriggling of their bodies, and especially by the waving of 
the left hand, to make more conspicuous their long fringes 
and tunics, which are embroidered in multiform figures of 
animals with threads of divers colors. 

Others again, put on a feigned severity of countenance, 
and extol their patrimonial estates in a boundless degree, 
exaggerating the yearly produce of their fruitful fields, 
which they boast of possessing in numbers, from east and 
west, being forsooth ignorant that their ancestors, who won 
greatness for Rome, were not eminent in riches; but 
'through many a direful war overpowered their foes by valor, 
though little above the common privates in riches, or luxury, 
or costliness of garments. 

... If now you, as an honorable stranger, should enter 
the house of any passing rich man, you will be hospitably 

370 A. D.] LUXURY OF THE RICH 307 

received, as though you were very welcome; and after hav- 
ing had many questions put to you, and having been forced 
to tell a number of lies, you will^ wonder — since the 
gentleman has never seen you before — that a person of 
high rank should pay such attention to a humble individual 
like yourself, so that you become exceeding happy, and 
begin to repent not having come to Eome ten years before. 
When, however, relying on this affability you do the same 
thing the next day, you will stand waiting as one utterly 
unknown and unexpected, while he who yesterday urged you 
to " come again," counts upon his fingers who you can be, 
marveling for a long time whence you came, and what you 
can want. But when at last you are recognized and admitted 
[again] to his acquaintance, if you should devote yourself 
to him for three years running, and after that cease with 
your visits for the same stretch of time, then at last begin 
them again, you will never be asked about your absence any 
more than if you had been dead, and you will waste your 
whole life trying to court the humors of this blockhead. 

But when those long and unwholesome banquets, which 
are indulged in at periodic intervals, begin to be prepared, 
or the distribution of the usual dole baskets takes place, 
then it is discussed with anxious care, whether, when those 
to whom a return is due are to be entertained, it is also 
proper to ask in a stranger ; and if after the question has 
been duly sifted, it is determined that this may be done, 
the person preferred is one who hangs around all ^ night 
before the houses of charioteers, or one who claims to be 
an expert with dice, or affects to possess some peculiar 
secrets. For hosts of this stamp avoid all learned and 
sober men as unprofitable and useless, — with this addition, 
that the nomenclators^ also, who usually make a market 
of these invitations and such favors, selling them for 

I Nomenclators were slaves who always went with a great noble to 
remind him of the names of people whom he had met before. 


bribes, often for a fee thrust into these dinners mean and 
obscure creatures indeed. 

The whirlpool of banquets, and divers other allurements 
of luxury I omit, lest I grow too prolix. Many people 
drive on their horses recklessly, as if they were post horses, 
with a legal right of way, straight down the boulevards 
of the city, and over the flint-paved streets, dragging 
behind them huge bodies of slaves, like bands of robbers. 
And many matrons, imitating these men, gallop over every 
quarter of the city, with their heads covered, and in closed 
carriages. And [like skillful generals] so the stewards 
of these city households [make careful arrangement of 
the cortege; the stewards themselves being] conspicuous 
by the wands in their right hands. First of all before 
the [master's] carriage march all his slaves concerned with 
spinning and working ; next come the blackened crew 
employed in the kitchen; then the whole body of slaves 
promiscuously mixed with a gang of idle plebeians; and 
last of all, the multitude of eunuchs, ^ beginning with the 
old men and ending with the boys, pale and unsightly from 
the deformity of their features. 

Those few mansions which were once celebrated for the 
serious cultivation of liberal studies, now are filled with 
ridiculous amusements of torpid indolence, reechoing with 
the sound of singing, and the tinkle of flutes and lyres. 
You find a singer instead of a philosopher ; a teacher of 
silly arts is summoned in place of an orator, the libraries 
are shut up like tombs, [but] organs played by water- 
power are built, and lyres so big that they look like 
wagons ! and fiutes, and huge machines suitable for the 

[The Eomans] have even sunk so far, that not long ago, 
when a dearth was apprehended, and the foreigners were 

1 This frequent use of eunuchs was an ahuse of the latev rather than 
the earlier Empire. 


driven from the city,^ those who practiced liberal accomplish- 
ments were expelled instantly, yet the followers of actresses 
and all their ilk were suffered to stay ; and three thousand 
dancing girls were not even questioned, but remained un- 
molested along with the members of their choruses, and a 
corresponding number of dancing masters. 

[On account of the frequency of epidemics in Eome, rich 
men take absurd precautions to avoid contagion, but even] 
when these rules are observed thus stringently, some persons, 
if they be invited to a wedding, though the vigor of their 
limbs be vastly diminished, yet when gold is pressed in 
their palm ^ they will go with all activity as far as Spoletum ! 
So much for the nobles. 

As for the lower and poorer classes some spend the whole 
night in the wine shops, some lie concealed in the shady 
arcades of the theaters. They play at dice so eagerly as to 
quarrel over them, snuffing up their nostrils, and making 
unseemly noises by drawing back their breath into their 
noses : — or (and this is their favorite amusement by far) 
from sunrise till evening, through sunshine or rain, they 
stay gaping and examining the charioteers and their horses ; 
and their good and bad qualities. 

Wonderful indeed it is to see an innumerable multitude 
of people, with prodigious eagerness, intent upon the events 
of the chariot race ! 

1 To lessen the number of mouths to fill. 

2 It was usual to make a present of a small sum of money on such 
occasions to each regular guest. Spoletum was a town in Umbria. 


The story of the fall of the Roman Empire is exceedingly hard 
for young students to understand. This is because the history of 
the world is losing that unity which it possessed while all political 
power was centralized on the Tiber, and one becomes highly con- 
fused in tracing down the respective advances of the Visigoths, 
Vandals, Ostrogoths, Burgundians, Franks, Lombards, Angles, and 
the innumerable lesser tribes which cpst themselves upon the dying 
Empire ; furthermore, the difficulty is increased by the fact that 
every one of the kingdoms founded by these invaders was presently 
to be blotted out, saving always the monarchy of the Franks. A 
source book is no place wherein to develop the story of these 
kingdoms, but it is possible to give some vivid pictures of the terri- 
ble fifth and sixth centuries when Europe was painfully ridding 
herself of her old government and society and was preparing to 
assume things new. 

Thus we can have excerpts illustrating the state of the Germans 
while still in "the forest primeval," and others giving effective 
glimpses of the progress of the invasions, the fearful, interposition 
of the Huns (more inimical to the Germans even than to the 
Eomans) and of the development of the spirit of Christianity — 
however feeble at fi.rst — among the raw Barbarians, who found in 
the civilized territories of the Empire a perfect wonderland, and 
who -were prepared to accept the institutions of the Church in 
much the same receptive spirit with which they learned to make 
use of marble palaces and the delicious southern wines. Again we 
may cast our eyes upon Constantinople, with its glory, its com- 
merce, and its survival of imperial power — a power not to be de- 
spised by the German, as Vandal and Ostrogoth found to their sore 
cost in the days of Justinian. Finally in Clovis and his Franks can 
be seen that fraction of the invaders, — cruel, treacherous, almost 



savages in their habits, and actual pagans when they entered 
Gaul, — who were destined by a strange Providence to found 
modem France and Germany, and to affect to a marked degree the 
history of modern Italy. 

The misery and wanton destruction brought to pass during the 
period of the invasions must not be underestimated. It was an 
era when any man of refined instincts and a lover of the intellectual 
life must have despaired of letters, arts, of everything, in short, as- 
sociated with civilized existence. On the other hand, as Rome 
was not built in a day, she did not fall in a day. The Barbarians 
did not always come as devouring conquerors. They were willing 
to confess the men of the Empire superior to themselves in all 
human activities save war. Very often they settled beside the 
Romanized provincials quite peacefully. Above all, they had deep 
awe for the august shadow of that Empire, which they claimed 
to wish to share rather than to destroy. And even more than 
the name of the Empire, they held in reverence the authority of 
the Church, the " Power not of this World," which was the more 
terrible, because it fought with unseen weapons, and not with battle- 
axes. The Roman Emperor vanished ; the Roman Pope remained, 
and therein lies the interpretation of many chapters of medieval 

120. The Death and Burial op Alaeic the Visigoth 

Jordanes, " History of the Goths," chap. 30. Mierow's Translation 

Alaric died shortly after he had pillaged Rome (410 a.d.). 
The famous story of his burial is here given, as preserved in the 
legends of his people. Although not a leader of the very first 
order, not many generals have been permitted to make a greater 
impress upon history than this tall, blonde Visigoth who broke 
the speU of the inviolability of Rome. 

[After Alaric's Visigoths had sacked Rome] they departed 
to bring like ruin upon Campania and Lucania, and then 
came to Brutii. To this place came Alaric, king of the 
Visigoths, with the wealth of all Italy which he had taken 
as spoil, and from there, he intended to cross by way of 


Sicily to the quiet land of Africa. But since man is not 
free to do anything he wishes without the will of God, that 
dread strait [betwixt Italy and Sicily] sunk several of his 
ships and threw all into confusion. 

Alaric was cast down by the reverse, and while deliberat- 
ing what he should do, was suddenly overtaken by an un- 
timely death and departed from htiman cares. His people 
mourned for him with the uttermost affection. Then turning 
from its course the river Busentus near the city of Consentia 
— for the stream flows with its wholesome waters from the 
foot of a mountain near that city — they led a band of 
captives into the midst of its bed to dig out a place for 
his grave. In the depths of this pit they buried Alaric, 
together with many treasures, and then turned the waters 
back into their channel. And that none might ever know 
the place, they put to death all the diggers. 

They bestowed the kingdom of the Visigoths on Athavulf, 
his kinsman, who returned again to Rome, and whatever 
had escaped the first sack his Goths stripped bare like 
locusts, not merely despoiling Italy of its private but even 
of its public resources. [Presently, however, he made peace 
with the Emperor Honorius, married his sister, and became 
his ally against the other Barbarians invading the Empire.] 

121. Description of the Early Germans 
Tacitus, " Germania," chap. 4 S. to 20. Bohn Translation 

About 100 A.D. the Great Latin historian wrote this account of 
the peoples and mauners of Germany. Perhaps his aim was to 
point a moral, by contrasting the chaste, unaffected forest children, 
with the artificial, corrupt society of the Empire. In any case, he 
has left us an invaluable picture of the life of the race that was to 
possess so much of Europe and America. Tacitus probably had 
never visited Germany, but he could draw fairly accurate informa- 
tion from Roman traders and soldiers, and possibly from German 


I agree in the opinion that the Germans have never inter- 
married with other nations ; but to be a race pure, unmixed, 
and stamped with a distinct character. Hence a family- 
likeness pervades the whole, though they are so numerous : 
— eyes stern and blue ; ruddy hair ; large bodies, power- 
ful in sudden exertions, but impatient of toil and labor, 
least of all capable of sustaining thirst and heat. Cold and 
hunger they are accustomed by their climate and soil to 

The land, though varied to a considerable extent in its 
aspect, is yet universally shagged with forests, or deformed 
by marshes ; moister on the side of Gaul, more bleak on the 
side of Noricum and Pannonia. It is productive of grain, 
but unkindly to fruit trees. It abounds in flocks and herds, 
but generally of a small breed. 

[There are very few metals in the country; and coined 
money is scarce, though not unknown.] Even iron is not 
plentiful among them, as may be inferred from the nature 
of their weapons. Swords or broad lances are seldom used ; 
but they generally carry a spear, called in their language 
framea, which has an iron blade, short and narrow, but so 
sharp and manageable that, as occasion requires, they use 
it either for close or distant fighting. Few are provided 
with a coat of mail ; and scarcely here and there one with 
a casque or -helmet [though all have shields]. 

Their line of battle is drawn in wedges. To give ground, 
provided they rally again, is considered rather as a prudent 
strategem than cowardice. . . . The greatest disgrace that 
can befall them is to have abandoned their shields. A per- 
son branded with this ignominy cannot join in their 
religious rites, or enter their assemblies ; so that many, 
after escaping from battle, have ended their infamy by the 


Political Institutions of the Germans 

In election of kings they have regard to birth ; in that of 
generals to valor. Their kings have not an absolute or 
unlimited power, ' and their generals command less through 
the fopce of authority than of example. If they are daring, 
adventurous, and conspicuous in action, they procure obedi- 
ence from the admiration they inspire. It is a principal 
incentive to their courage that their squadrons and battalions 
are not formed by men fortuitously collected, but by the 
assemblage of families and clans. Their pledges are also 
near at hand; they have within hearing the yells of the 
women, and the cries of their children. [The women care 
for the wounded and boldly] carry food andr encouragement 
to the men who are fighting. 

On affairs of small moment the chiefs consult. On those 
of greater importance, the whole community, yet with the 
circumstance that what is referred to the decision of the 
people is first maturely discussed by the chiefs. [At their 
assemblies] they all sit down armed. Silence is proclaimed 
by the priests. Then the king, or chief, or such others as 
are conspicuous for age, birth, military renown, or eloquence 
are heard; and gain attention rather from their ability to 
persuade, than their authority to command. If a proposal 
displeases, the assembly reject it by an inarticulate murmur; 
if it prove agreeable, they clash their javelins ; for the most 
honorable expression of assent among them is from the 
sound of arras. 

Before this council, too, it is allowed to prosecute capital 
offenses. Punishments are varied according to the crime. 
Traitors and deserters are hung upon trees ; cowards, rene- 
gades, and vile livers are suffocated with' mud under a hurdle. 
[Lesser offenses are punished by fines of] horses and cattle. 
Part of the mulct goes to the king or state, part to the 
injured man or his kindred. 

IOOa.d.] the early GERMANS 315 

lu these same assemblies chiefs are also elected to admin- 
ister justice ill the cantons and districts [of the tribe]. A 
hundred " companions," chosen by the people, attend upon 
each, to aid them both by their advice and their authority. 

German Youths and War-bands 

[When a youth is man grown] then in the midst of the 
assembly, one of the chiefs, or the father, or a relation, 
equips the youth with a shield and javelin. Before this the 
lads are counted simply part of a household ; afterward 
part of the state. [Young men are associated as compan- 
ions of a distinguished chief] and there is great emulation 
among the "companions" who shall possess the highest 
place in the favor of their chief; and among the chiefs who 
shall have the most and the bravest "companions." [The 
chief with the finest band of "companions" enjoys the 
highest honor in peace and war.] It is reproach and 
infamy during a whole succeeding life for " companions " to 
retreat from the battle surviving him. To aid, to protect 
him ; to place their own gallant actions to the account of his 
glory, is their first and most sacred engagement. The chief 
fights for victory ; the " companions " for their chief. The 
"companion" requires from his lord's bounty, the warlike 
steed, the bloody and conquering spear ; in place of pay he 
expects to be supplied with a table, homely indeed, but 
plentiful. [These "companions" have to be maintained by 
constant feuds and booty, else they may desert their chief 
for another more warlike.] 

Domestic Oastoms of the Germans 

It is well known that the Germans do not inhabit cities. 
They dwell scattered and separate, as a spring, meadow, or 
grove may chance to invite them. [In their villages] they 
are not acquainted with the use of mortar and tiles ; and 


for every purpose use rude unshapen timber, fashioned with 
no view to beauty ; but they take great pains to coat parts 
of their buildings with a kind of earth, so pure and shining 
that it gives them the appearance of painting. They also 
dig underground caves, and cover them over with a great 
quantity of manure. These they use as winter retreats and 
granaries. . . . 

The marriage bond is strict and severe among them ; nor 
are any of their manners more praiseworthy than this. Al- 
most singly among the Barbarians they content themselves 
with one wife, [though a very few great chiefs are polyga- 
mists. When a woman is married] she is admonished by the 
ceremonial that she comes to her husband as a partner of 
his toils and dangers, to suffer and to dare equally with him 
in peace and in war. The women live therefore fenced 
around with chastity, corrupted by no seductive spectacles, 
no convivial excitements. Adultery is extremely rare 
among so numerous a people [and profligate women are out- 
casts from society]. Every mother suckles her own children 
and does not deliver them into the hands of servants and 
nurses [as at Rome]. The young people are equally matched 
in their marriage, and the children inherit the vigor of their 

122. Effect upon the World or the Taking of 
Rome by Alaeic 

Dill, " Roman Society in the Last Century of the Western Empire," 
p. 305 

Professor Dill, a weU-known writer, has given the foUowing 
opinion touching the effect produced upon the world of the great 
deed of Alaric — as the news of the incredible disaster penetrated 
the remote provinces. 

In 410, when after the failure of all negotiations, the city 
[of Rome] had at last fallen a prey to the army of Alaric, 

410a.d.] effect of the fall of ROME 317 

everything was changed. Eight hundred years had passed 
since Eome had been violated by the Gauls of Brennus. In 
spite of all the troubles on the frontiers, in spite of the 
alarms of the great invasions of the second, third, and 
fourth centuries, the sacred center of government had never 
realized the possibility that her own stately security would 
ever be disturbed. Not only had all true sons of Eome 
a religious faith in her mission and destiny, but they had 
good reason to rely on the awe which she inspired in the 
barbarous races who ra,nged around her frontiers. 

But now the spell was broken ; the mystery and awe 
which surrounded the great city had been pierced and set 
at nought. The moral force, so much more important in 
government than the material, had been weakened and dese- 
crated. The shock given by this great catastrophe to old 
Eoman confidence and pride must, for the time, have been 
overwhelming. We can conjecture the feelings [of men of 
the time . . . ] from the words St. Jerome penned in his cell in 
Bethlehem in the year 411. Although he had fled from the 
world, he was still a Eoman at heart, steeped in her literary 
culture, and proud of her great history. When the rumor 
of the fall of Eome reached him, he broke off his commen. 
tary on Ezekiel; his voice was choked with sobs as he 
thought of the capture of the great city, " which had taken 
captive all the world." 

In an earlier letter, referring to the invasion of the east- 
ern provinces, he says that his soul shudders at the ruin of 
his time. For twenty years all the lands from Constanti- 
nople to the Julian Alps are drenched with Eoman blood. 
The provinces are a prey to Alans, Huns, Vandals, and 
Marcomanni. Matrons and virgins devoted to God, the 
noble and the priest, are made a sport of these monsters. 
The churches are demolished ; the bones of the martyrs are 
dug up ; horses are stabled at the altars of Christ. " The 
Eoman world is sinking in ruin, . . . and yet we wish to live. 


and think that those who have been taken from such a 
scene are to be mourned rather than deemed happy in their 
fate. It is through our sins that the barbarians are strong." 

[In another letter] he speaks of the countless hordes that 
have swept from the Ehine to the Pyrenees. Great cities 
like Mainz, Rheims, and Nantes have been wiped out ; the 
provinces of Aquitaine, Lyons, and Narbonne have been 
desolated, thousands have been butchered even in the 
churches, and famine has completed the work of the sword. 

[St. Jerome may be overooloring the extent of the disaster, 
but] there can be no doubt that the moral effect of the 
capture was for the moment overwhelming. 

123. The Greatness of Rome even in the dats 
OF Ruin 

Poem of Rutilius Humantlus, " On his Return," book I, II. 47 S. 

Rutilius Numautius, a native of Gaul, but about 413 a.d. the 
City Prsefect of Rome, wrote this poem in praise of the city that 
he had seen plundered by Alaric. He was a pagan, one of the 
circle of hteraiy men who fixed their eyes on the glorious past, 
and had no pleasure in Christianity. His tribute to the greatness 
of Rome is clear evidence that even the awful calamities of the 
reign of Honorius did not shatter men's faith in the abiding majesty 
and empire of the Eternal City. 

Give ear to me, Queen of the world which thou rulest, 
Rome, whose place is amongst the stars ! Give ear to me, 
motlier of men, and mother of gods ! 

Through thy temples we draw near to the very heaven. 
Thee do we sing, yea and while the Fates give us life, thee 
we will sing. For who can live and forget thee ? Before 
thy image my soul is abased — graceless and sacrilegious, it 
were better for me to forget the sun, for thy beneficent influ- 
ence shinest — even as his light — to the limits of the habit- 
able world. Yea the sun himself, in his vast course, seems 


only to turn in thy behalf. He riseth upon thy domains ; 
and on thy domains, it is again that he setteth. 

As far as from one pole to the other spreadeth the vital 
power of nature, so far thy virtue hath penetrated over the 
earth. For all the scattered nations thou Greatest one com- 
mon country. Those that struggle against thee are con- 
strained to bend to thy yoke ; for thou profferest to the 
conquered the partnership in thy just laws ; thou hast made 
one city what was aforetime the wide world 1 

Queen, the remotest regions of the universe join in a 
hymn to thy glory ! Our heads are raised freely under thy 
peaceful yoke. For thee to reign, is less than to have so 
deserved to reign; the grandeur of thy deeds surpasses even 
thy might destinies. 

124. A Picture of a Visigothic King 

A Lettei of Sidonias ApoUinaris. Abridged from the Translation in 
Sheppard, "Fall of Rome," pp. 433-437 

Theodoric II reigned over the Visigoths in South Gaul from 
453 to 466 A.D. He was the grandson of Alaric the Conqueror. 
This picture of him is drawn by a courtly Gallo-Roman bishop 
who had every reason to flatter this leader of the new lords of the 
land. Making ample allowances, however, we can conclude that 
the Gothic kings soon absorbed a veneer of Roman culture, and 
liked to keep up the show of a Coesar, treating the provincials 
fairly graciously ; although at heart they were still crude Barbarians. 

"He is a prince well worthy of being known even by 
those not admitted to his intimate acquaintance, to such a 
degree have Nature and God, the sovran Arbiter of all 
things, accumulated in his person gifts of varied excellence. 
His character is such that even envy itself, that universal 
accompaniment of all royalty, could not defraud him of his 
due praise." 

" You ask me to describe his daily outdoor life. Accom- 
panied by a very small suite he attends before daybreak the 


services of the Church in his own household ; he is careful 
in his devotions, but although his tone is suppressed, you 
may perceive that this is more a matter of habit with him 
than of religious principle. The business of administration 
occupies the rest of the morning. An armed aide-de-camp 
stands beside his throne ; his band of fur-clad bodyguards 
is admitted to the Palace in order that they may be near to 
the royal presence; while in order that there may not be 
too much noise, they are kept out of the room ; and so they 
talk in murmurs, inside a railing and outside the hangings 
[of the hall of audience]. 

" Envoys from foreign powers are then introduced. The 
King listens much and says little. If their business calls 
for discussion, he puts it off ; if for prompt action, he presses 
it forward. At eight o'clock^ he rises, and proceeds to 
examine either his treasures, or his stables. When he goes 
to hunt, he does not deem it suitable to the royal dignity 
to carry his bow upon his own person ; when, however, . . • 
any one points out to him a wild animal or bird, he puts 
out his hand, and receives his bow unstrung from a page : 
for, just as he regards it as an undignified thing to carry 
the weapon in its case, so does he deem it unmanly it should 
be prepared by another for his use. He selects an arrow 
. . . and lets fly, first asking what you wish him to strike. 
You make your choice and invariably he hits the mark; 
indeed if there is ever any mistake, it is oftener in the sight 
of him who points out the object than in the aim of him 
who shoots at it. 

" His banquets do not differ from those of a private 
gentleman. You never see the vulgarity of a vast mass of 
tarnished plate, heaped upon a groaning table by a puffing 
and perspiring slave. The only thing that is weighty is the 
conversation: for either serious subjects are discussed, or 

iNote how early in the morning formal business is begun and dis- 
posed of. 


none at all. Sometimes purple, and sometimes fine silk are 
employed, in adorning the furniture of tlie dining room. 
The dinner is recommended by the skill of the cookery, not 
by the costliness of the provisions : — the plate by its 
brightness, not by its massive weight. The guests are much 
more frequently called upon to complain of thirst, from 
finding the goblet too seldom pressed, than to shun ebriety 
by refusing it. In brief, one sees there the elegance of 
Greece and promptness of Italy, the splendor of a public 
along with the personal attention of a private entertainment, 
likewise the regular order of a royal household. After 
dinner Theodoric either takes no siesta at all or a very 
short one. When he feels like it, he picks up the dice 
quickly, looks at them carefully, shakes them scientifically, 
throws them at once, jocularly addresses them, and awaits 
the result with patience. When the cast is a good one he 
says nothing : when bad, he laughs ; good or bad he is never 
angry, and takes both philosophically. . . . 

" About three in the afternoon again come the cares of 
government, back come the suitors, and back those whose 
duty it is to keep them at a distance. On all sides is heard 
a wrangling and intriguing crowd, which, prolonged to the 
royal dinner hour, then only begins to diminish ; after that 
it disperses, every man to seek his own patron. Occa- 
sionally, though not often, jesters are admitted to the royal 
banquet, without, however, being permitted to vent their 
malicious raillery upon any persons present.' When he has 
risen from table, the guard of the treasury commences its 
nightly vigil: armed men take their station at all ap- 
proaches to the palace, whose duty it will be to watch there 
during the first hours of the night." 

[Despite this eulogy, Theodoric II had climbed to power by the 
foul murder of his brother, the rightful king.] 

I As was evidently the custom in other great houses. 


125. An Account of the Person of Attila 
JOTdanes, " History of the Goths," chap. 36. Mierow's Translation 
Attila ruled the Hims from 434 to 453 a. d. During thai 
time the " Scourge of God " held in terror nearly all the known 
world. A Gothic chronicler leaves us this account of his personal 
traits and appearance. Probably like other savage conquerors of 
his type Attila was a curious combination of qualities admirable 
and diabolical. 

When Attila's brother Bleda who ruled over a great part 
of the Huns had been slain by Attila's treachery, the latter 
united all the people under his own rule. Gathering also 
a host of the other tribes which he then held under his sway 
he sought to subdue the foremost nations of the world — - 
the Eomans and the Visigoths. His army is said to have 
numbered 500,000 men. He was a man born into the world 
to shake the nations, the scourge of all lands, who in some 
way terrified all mankind by the dreadful rumors noised 
abroad concerning him. He was haughty in his walk, roll- 
ing his eyes hither and thither, so that the power of his 
proud spirit appeared in the movement of his body. He 
was indeed a lover of war, yet restrained in action, mighty 
in counsel, gracious to suppliants and lenient to those who 
were once received into his protection. He was short of 
stature, with a broad chest and a large head : his eyes were 
small, his beard ihin and sprinkled with gray : and he had 
a flat nose and a swarthy complexion showing the evidences 
of his origin. 

126. The Battle of the Catalaunian Plains or of 

Jordanes, " History of the Goths," chap. 38. Mierow's Translation 

In 451 A.D. Attila the Hun with his hordesmen, after having 
been repulsed before Orleans in Gaul, was brought to hay by Aetius, 


the Eoman general, and his allies, the Germanic Visigoths, Bur- 
gundians, and Franks. It should be remembered in this connection 
that the Huns were, if possible, more hated by the Germans than 
by the Eomans. The battle represented the first alliance of the 
western races against " the yellow peril." Even if Attila had won, 
his empire would probably have soon gone to pieces, but not until 
an irreparable shock had been given the civiKzed life of Gaul. 

The armies met in the Catalaunian Plains. The battle 
field was a plain rising by a sharp slope to a ridge which 
both armies sought to gain ; for advantage o£ position is a 
great help. The Huns with their forces seized the right 
side, the Romans, the Visigoths and their allies the left, and 
then began a struggle for the yet untaken crest. Now 
Theodorid with his Visigoths held the right wing, and 
Aetius with the Eomans the left [of the line against Attila]. 
On the other side, the battle line of the Huns was so arranged 
that Attila and his bravest followers were stationed in the 
center. In arranging them thus the king had chiefly 
his own safety in view, since by Ms position in the very 
midst of his race, he would be kept out of the way of threat- 
ened danger. The innumerable peoples of divers tribes, 
which he had subjected to his sway, formed the wings. 
Now the crowd of kings — if we may call them so — and the 
leaders of various nations hung upon Attila's nod like slaves, 
and when he gave a sign even by a glance, without a murmur 
each stood forth in fear and trembling, or at all events did 
as he was bid. Attila alone was king of kings over all and 
concerned for all. 

So then the struggle began for the advantage of position 
we have mentioned. Attila sent his men to take the summit 
of the mountain, but was outstripped by Thorismud [crown 
prince of the Visigoths] and Aetius, who in their effort to 
gain the top of the hill reached higher ground, and through 
this advantage easily routed the Huns as they came up. 

When Attila saw his army was thrown into confusion by 


the event he [urged them on with a fiery harangue and . . .J 
inflamed by his words they all daslied into the battle. 

And although the situation was itself fearful, yet the 
presence of the king dispelled anxiety and hesitation. Hand 
to hand they clashed in battle, and the fight grew fierce, 
confused, monstrous, unrelenting — a fight whose like no 
ancient time has 'ever recorded. There were such deeds 
done that a brave man who missed this marvelous spectacle 
could not hope to see anything so wonderful all his life long. 
Fcr if we may believe our elders a brook flowing between 
low banks through the plain was greatly increased by blood 
from the wounds of the slain. Those whose wounds drove 
them to slake their parching thirst drank water mingled 
with gore. In their wretched plight they were forced to 
drink what they thought was the blood they had poured out 
from their own wounds. 

Here King Theodorid [the Visigoth] while riding by to 
encourage his army, was thrown from his horse and trampled 
under foot by his own men, thus ending his days at a ripe 
old age. But others say he was slain by the spear of Andag 
of the host of the Ostrogoths who were then under the sway 
of Attila. Then the Visigoths fell on the horde of the Huns 
and nearly slew Attila. But he prudently took flight and 
straightway shut himself and his companions within the 
barriers of the camp which he had fortified with wagons. 
[The battle now became confused: chieftains became sepa- 
rated from their forces : night fell with the Roman-Gothic 
army holding the field of combat. J 

At dawn on the next day the Romans saw that the fields 
were piled high with corpses, and that the Huns did not 
venture forth ; they thought that the victory was theirs, but 
knew that Attila would not flee from battle unless over- 
whelmed by a great disaster. Yet he did nothing cowardly, 
like one that is overcome, but with clash of arms sounded 
the trumpets and threatened an attack. [His enemies] de- 


termined to wear him out by a siege. It is said that the 
king remained supremely brave even in this extremity and 
had heaped up a funeral pyre of horse trappings, so that if 
the enemy should attack him he was determined to cast 
himself into the flames, that none might have the joy of 
wounding him, and that the lord of so many races might 
not fall into the hands of his foes. 

[However, owing to dissensions between the Romans and 
Goths he was allowed to escape to his home land, and] in 
this most famous war of the bravest tribes, 160,000 men are 
said to have been slain on both sides. 

127. The Youth and Rise to Povter of Theodoeic 
THE Ostrogoth 

Jordanes, " History of the Goths," chaps. 52 and 57. Mierow's Trans- 

The Ostrogoths had been reduced to vassalage by the Huns. 
After the breakup of Attila's empire, they recovered their liberty, 
and entered the Eastern Empire seeking a place of settlement and 
booty, — something after the manner of their kinsfolk the Visi-. 
goths. How they found a king in the semi-Romanized Theodoric, 
and how he decided to transfer his people from the Balkan penin- 
sula to Italy, is told by the Gothic historian. Despite, however, a 
show of Roman manners, it is likely that Theodoric always remained 
at heart a barbarian. 

[At the time peace was made between the Ostrogoths and 
the Romans] the Romans received as a hostage of peace, 
Theodoric the son of [prince] Thiudimer. He had now at- 
tained the age of seven yeaes and was entering upon his 
eighth [461 a.d.J. While his father hesitated about giving 
him up, his uncle Valamir, besought him to do it, hoping that 
peace between the Romans and the Goths might thus be 
assured. Therefore Theodoric was given as a hostage by 
the Goths and brought to tlie city of Constantinople to the 


Emperor Leo, and, being a goodly child, deservedly gained 
the iiaperial favor. 

[After a while Theodofic returned as a young man to his 
people and became king over them. He was treated with 
great favor by the Emperor Zeno (474-491) but resolved to 
go as the Emperor's deputy to Italy, and deliver it from the 
Rugi and other barbarians oppressing it, saying to Zeno], 
" If I prevail I shall retain Italy as your grant and gift : 
if I am conquered Your Piety will lose nothing." So the 
Emperor sent him forth enriched by great gifts and 
commended to his charge the Senate and the Eoman 

Therefore Theodoric departed from the royal city and re- 
turned to his own people. In company with the whole tribe 
of the Goths who gave him their unanimous consent he set 
out for Hesperia. He went in a straight march through 
Sirmium to the places bordering ou Pannonia and, advancing 
into the territory of Venetia, as far as the bridge of the Son- 
tius, encamped there. When he had halted there for some 
time to rest the bodies of his men and pack animals, 
Odoacer sent an armed force against him which he met on 
the plains of Verona, and destroyed with great slaughter. 
Then he broke camp and advanced through Italy with 
greater boldness. Crossing the river Po, he pitched camp 
near the royal city of Ravenna. 

When Odoacer saw this, he fortified himself within the 
city. He frequently harassed the army of the Goths at night, 
sallying forth stealthily with his men, and this not once or 
twice, but often ; and thus he struggled for almost three 
whole years. But he labored in vain, for all Italy at last 
called Theodoric its lord and the Empire obeyed his nod.* 
But Odoacer suffered daily from war and famine in Ravenna. 
Since he accomplished nothing he sent an embassy and 

1 Of course an exaggeration. He had little or no power outside of 


begged for mercy. Theodoric first granted it, then deprived 
him of his life.* 

It -was in the third year [493 a.d.] after his entrance into 
Italy that Theodoric, by the advice of the Emperor Zeno, 
laid aside the garb of a private citizen and the dress of his 
race, and assumed a costume with a royal mantle, as he had 
now become a ruler both over Goths and Eomans. 

128. A Desceiption of Constantinople under the 
Eastern Emperors 

Abridged from Buiy, " History of the Later Roman Empire," vol. I, 
pp. 52 ff. 

A distinguished English scholar gives us this description of 
Constantinople in the fifth and sixth centuries a.d., when it was 
displacing Eome as the greatest city of the world. Thanks to 
the wholesale plundering of more ancient places, it was probably 
even more magnificent than " Old Kome " at its best. During 
much of the subsequent Middle Ages, Constantinople was about 
the only place in Europe where a modern man could have found 
quasi civilized conditions of life. 

The shape of Constantinople is triangular. It is bounded 
on two sides by water and on one side by land. At the 
east corner and on the south side it is washed by the Bos- 
phorus, which flows at first almost from north to south and 
then takes a southeastern course ; on the north by the inlet 
of the Bosphorus, which was called the Golden Horn ; and 
on the west by the wall of Constantine, protecting the en- 
larged city. 

A traveler coming [overland from Italy] would enter 
Constantinople by the " Golden Gate " erected by Theodosius 
the Great. A long street with covered colonnades — sug- 
gesting an eastern town — on either side would lead him in 
a due easterly direction to the great Milion, the milestone 

1 Odoaoer seems to have been slain most treacherously. 


from which all distances were measured. For since Con- 
stantinople had become the capital all roads tended thither. 
But before he saw the Milion, the traveler would be struck 
by the imposing mass and great dome of the [cathedral of] 
St. Sophia, the eternal monument of Justinian and his 
architect Anthemius. As he stood in front of the west 
entrance of the great church the northern side of the hippo- 
drome would be on his right hand. 

Then passing a few steps farther, and standing with his 
back to St. Sophia he would see stretching before him south- 
ward a long rectangular place, bounded on one side by the 
eastern wall of the hippodrome and on the other by the 
western wall of the Imperial palace. . . . This place was called 
the Augusteum, that is the place of Augustus. . . . The mag- 
nificence of Justinian had paved this piazza with marble, and 
the southern part was distinguished as the " Marble Place," 
while the northern part was called Milion from the build- 
ing of that name close by. 

The Milion was not a mere pillar ; it was a roofed build- 
ing open at the sides, supported by seven pillars, and within 
were to be seen the statues of Constantine the Great [and 
other imperial personages. Along the eastern side of the 
Augusteum were some other important buildings, especially 
a splendid long portico and the baths of Zeuxippus, a mag- 
nificent structure, rebuilt after a conflagration by Justinian. 
Close by it were the elegant Senate House, and Palace of 
the Patriarch which] contained a splendid hall, called the 
Thoraaites, and also halls of justice for the hearing of 
ecclesiastical cases. 

The Hippodrome was the scene of many important politi- 
cal movements and transactions at Constantinople. Its 
length from north to south was 639 cubits, its breadth about 
168. Its southern end was of crescent shape. The northern 
end was occupied by a small two-storied palace, and the 
Emperor beheld the games from a box or catJiisma which 


he^entered from the palace by a winding stair. Under the 
palace were porticoes in which horses and chariots were 
kept. The hippodrome had at least four gates ; one to the 
right of the cathisma through which the "Blue"' faction 
was wont to enter, a second corresponding on the left, which 
was appropriated by the Greens, [and two others for dif- 
ferent purposes]. ... 

[Near the Augusteum rose the main Imperial palace, a 
magnificent and huge structure, but owing to the rack of 
time it is impossible to trace out all its wonderful halls of 
audience, gilded and mosaic-lined chambers, governmental 
offices, barracks for the guard, gardens, and the like.] 

Also from Bury, " History of the Later Roman Empire," vol. n, p. S5 

The population of Constantinople. at the beginning of the 
sixth century has been calculated at about 1,000,000. It was 
full of Gepids, Goths, Lombards, Slaves and Huns as well 
as Orientals : Abasgian eunuchs and Colchian guards might 
be seen in the streets. . . . 

In the urban arrangements of Constantinople, for the com- 
fort of whose inhabitants the Emperors were always solicit- 
ous, the law of Zeno (474-494 a.d.), which provided for a sea 
prospect, is noteworthy. The height of the houses built on 
the hills overlooking the sea was regulated in such a way 
that the buildings in front should not interfere with the 
view of the houses behind. Besides the corn, imported 
from Egypt, which was publicly distributed to the citizens 
in the form of bread, the chief food of the Byzantines was 
salted provisions of various kinds — fish, cheese, and ham. 
Wine was grown in the surrounding district, and there was 
a good vegetable market. Of public amusements there was 
no lack. As well as horse races in the hippodrome, there 

I The "Blues" and "Greens" were theoretically merely partisans of 
rival charioteers, but often they developed into downright political factions, 
whose riotous feuds endangered the thrones of Emperors. 


were theatrical representations and ballets ; and it is prob- 
able that troupes of acrobats and tight-rope dancers often 
came over from Asia. [Combats of men with wild animals 
were sometimes allowed, but not old style gladiator fights.] 
[The mechanical arts and industries flourished. Con- 
stantinople was the chief manufacturing city and commer- 
cial center in the world ; among other things manufactured 
were silk fabrics, glazed pottery, mosaic work to adorn 
churches and palaces, crosses and crucifixes for Christian 
worship, all kinds of fine jewelry, and all kinds of weapons 
and armor. The city was in short the wealthiest, most civi- 
lized, best governed spot in Christendom all through the 
earlier Middle Ages. In it the shipping and caravans of 
East and West met for commerce. There was absolutely 
no other city in Europe and very few in Asia that could 
rival it, even faintly.] 

129. The Title of a Later Eoman Emperor 

From the Preamble of the " Institutes " of Justinian. Moyle's Translation 

Under the later emperors there was not the least abatement in 
their claims to universal sovranty. If barbarian kings had 
seized certain provinces, their possession was in theory only tem- 
porary. Justinian (527 to 565 a.d.) did indeed reconquer many 
of the lost lands, but his title would have been no less high- 
sounding and grandiloquent if his reign had been disastrous. An 
emperor was still a god on earth. 

The Emperor Csesar Flavius Justinianus, conqueror of 
the Alemanni, the Goths, the Franks, the Germans, the 
Antes, the Alani, the Vandals, the Africans ; — pious, 
prosperous, renowned, victorious and triumphant, ever 

[He asserts in the course of the preamble to his laws :] 
The barbarian nations which we have subjugated know our 
valor, Africa and other provinces without number being 


once more, after so long an interval, reduced beneath the 
sway of Rome, by victories granted by Heaven, and them- 
selves bearing witness to our dominion. All peoples like- 
wise are ruled hy laws which we have either enacted or arranged. 

130. The Imperial Law-making Powek as Defined 
BY Justinian 

" Institutes " of Justinian, book I, title 11. Moyle's Translation 

Under the later Empire practically the sole law-making power 
lay with the sovereign Augustus. How absolute was his authority 
is bluntly stated in the codification of the Roman Law by Justinian 
(published in 533 a.d.). The fiction is still preserved, however, 
that the emperor does this because he has been commissioned so 
to do by the people. He does not claim to rule simply " by the 
grace of God " ; — that was a later medieval pretension. 

What the emperor determines has the force of a statute, 
the people having conferred on him all their authority and 
power. Consequently, whatever the emperor settles by 
rescript, or decides in his judicial capacity, or ordains by 
edicts, is clearly a statute ; and these are what are called 
" constitutions." Some of these of course are personal, and 
not to be followed as precedents — since this is not the 
emperor's will ; but others are general and bind beyond all 

131. How Clovis the Fbank became a Catholic 

From the " Chronicle of St. Denis," book I, chaps. 18-19 

In 496 A.D. Clovis, the founder of the Prankish power which 
was to develop into modern France and Germany, was converted 
to Catholic Christianity from heathenism. This was an event of 
high historical importance. If like other Germanic kings he had 
become an Arian heretic, he would have been hopelessly estranged 
from his subject Roman population. As it was, the Franks and 


the provincials coalesced as in none other of the new barbarian 
kingdoms. The story of Clovis's conversion, of course, gave the 
pious chroniclers an opening for many edifying anecdotes. 

[Clovis having a Catholic wife, Clothilda, was often 
urged by her to accept Christianity, but long resisted her 

At this time the King was yet in the errors of his idolatry 
[and went to war] with the Alemanni, since he wished to 
render them tributary. Long was the battle, many were 
slain on one side or the other, for the Franks fought to win 
glory and renown, the Alemanni to save life and freedom. 
When the King at length saw the slaughter of his people 
and the boldness of his foes, he had greater expectation of 
disaster than of victory. He looked up to heaven humbly, 
and spoke thus, "Most mighty God, whom my queen 
Clothilde worships and adores with heart and soul, I pledge 
Thee perpetual service unto Thy faith, if only Thou givest 
me now the victory over mine enemies." 

Instantly when he had said this, his men were filled with 
burning valor, and a great fear smote his enemies, so that 
they turned the back and fled the battle ; and victory re- 
mained with the King and with the Franks. The king of 
the Alemanni was slain ; and as for the Alemanni, seeing 
themselves discomiited, and that their king had fallen, 
they yielded themselves to Clovis and his Franks and became 
his tributaries. 

The King returned after this victory into Frankland. He 
went to Reims, and told unto the Queen what had befallen; 
and they together gave thanks unto Our Lord. The King 
made his confession of faith from his heart, and with right 
good will. The Queen, who was wondrously overjoyed at 
the conversion of her lord, went at ouce to St. Eemi, at 
that time archbishop of»the city. 

Straightway he hastened to the palace to teach the King 


the way by which he could come unto God, for his mind was 
still in doubt about it. He presented himself boldly before 
his face, although a little while before he [the bishop] had 
not dared to come before him. 

When St. Remi had preached to the King the [Christian] 
faith and taught him the way of the Cross, and when the 
king had known what the faith was, Clovis promised fer- 
vently that he would henceforth never serve any save the 
all-powerful God. After that he said he would put to the 
test and try the hearts and wills of his chieftains and lesser 
people : for he would convert them more easily if they were 
coDverted^by pleasant means and by mild words, than if they 
were driven to it by force ; and this method seemed best to 
St. Eemi. The folk and the chieftains were assembled by the 
command of the King. He arose in the midst of them, and 
spoke to this effect : — 

" Lords of the Franks, it seems to me highly profitable 
that ye should know first of all what are those gods which 
ye worship. For we are certain of their falsity: and we 
come right freely into the knowledge of Him who is the 
true God. Know of a surety that this same God which I 
preach to you has given victory over your enemies in the 
recent battle against the Alemanni. Lift therefore your 
hearts in just hope ; and ask the Sovran Defender, that He 
give to you all, that which ye desire — that He save our 
souls and give us victory over our enemies." 

When the King full of faith had thus preached to and 
admonished his people, one and all banished from their 
hearts all unbelief, and recognized their Creator. 

[According to the Chronicle of Frodoard (13), when 
shortly afterward Clovis set out for the Church for baptism, 
St. Eemi prepared a great procession. The streets of 
Reims were hung with banners and tapestry.] The church' 
was decorated. The baptistery was covered with balsams 


and all sorts of perfumes. The people believed they were 
already breathing the delights of paradise. The cortege 
set out from the palace, the clergy led the way bearing the 
holy Gospels, the cross and banners, chanting hymns and 
psalms. Then came the bishop leading the King by the 
hand, next the Queen with the multitude. Whilst on the 
way the King asked of the bishop, "If this was the King- 
dom of Heaven which he had promised him." "Not so," 
replied the prelate ; " it is the road that leadeth unto it." 

[When in the church, in the act of bestowing baptism] 
the holy pontiff lifted his eyes to heaven in silent prayer 
and wept. Straightway a dove, white as snow, descended 
bearing in his beak a vial of holy oil. A delicious odor 
exhaled from it : which intoxicated those near by with an 
inexpressible delight. The holy bishop took the vial, and 
suddenly the dove vanished. Transported with joy at the 
sight of this notable miracle, the King renounced Satan, 
his pomps and his works ; and demanded with earnestness 
the baptism; at the moment when he bent his head over the 
fountain of life, the eloquent pontiff cried, "Bow doivn 
thine head, fierce Sicambrian I * Adore that which once thou 
hast burned : burn that which thou hast adored ! " 

After having made his profession of the orthodox faith, 
the King is plunged thrice in the waters of baptism. Then 
in the name of the holy and indivisible Trinity, — Father, 
Son, and Holy Ghost, — the prelate consecrated him with the 
divine unction. [Two sisters of the King and] 3000 fight- 
ing men of the Franks and a great number of women and 
children were likewise baptized. Thus we may well believe 
that day was a day of joy in heaven for the holy angels; 
likewise of rejoicing on earth for devout and faithful men ! 

[The King showed vast zeal for his new faith. He built 
a splendid church at Paris, called St. Genevieve, where 
later he and Clothilde were buried.] Faith and religion 
I A term praotioally meauiug " Frank." 


and zeal for justice were pursued by him all the days of 
his life. 

[Certain Franks still held to paganism, and found a 
leader in Prince Ragnachairus] but he was presently de- 
livered up in fetters to Clevis who put him to death. Thus 
all the Prankish people were converted and baptized by the 
merits of St. Remi, 

How Clovis was declared a Boman Patrician (508 a.d.) 
Chronicle of St. Denis, I, 23 

At this time there came to Clovis messengers from 
Anastasius, the emperor of Constantinople, who brought 
him presents from their master, and letters whereof the 
effect was, that it pleased the emperor and the Senators 
that he [Clovis] be made a " Friend of the Emperor," and 
a " Patrician " and " Councilor " of the Eomans. 

When the King had read these letters, he arrayed him- 
self in the robe of a senator, which the emperor had sent 
to him. He mounted upon his charger ; and thus he went 
to the public square before the church of S. Martin; and 
then he gave great gifts to the people. From this day he 
was always called " Councilor " and "Augustus." ^ 

132. How Clovis Disposed of a Eival 
Gregory of Tours, "History," book II, chap. 40 

Clovis reigned over the Franks from 481 to 511 a.d. Both be- 
fore and after his nominal conversion to Christianity he showed 
himself a wholly evil, unscrupulous savage, who prospered by a 
combination of lionlike bravery and vulpine cunning. Neverthe- 
less, in view of his favoring " Orthodox " Christianity, the church- 
men of the age were willing to condone almost all his acts. 

1 It is very unlikely that he had any right to the title " Augustus," but 
it tickled the barbarian's pride to assume it. 


While King Clovis dwelt at Paris lie sent secretly to 
Cloderic, son of Sigebert, king of Cologne,^ and said unto him, 

" Behold, thy father is old and lame. If he should die, 
his kingdom would be thine on the strength of our friend- 
ship together." 

Then it came to pass that Sigebert quitted the city of 
Cologne and crossed the Rhine to enjoy himself in the 
forest of Buconia. And as he slept in his tent about noon 
time, his son sent assassins against him, and caused him to 
perish, in order to gain his kingdom. The murderer sent 
messengers to Clovis saying : — 

"My father is dead, even as was enjoined, and I have in 
my possession both his wealth and his kingdom. Send 
therefore some of thy people, and I will freely commit to 
them whatever thou wishest of his treasures." 

[When Clovis's messengers came] Cloderic opened before 
them the treasures of his father ; but as he thrust his hand 
deep down in [the chest], one of the messengers raised 
his " Franciska " ^ and cleft his skull. Then Clovis straight- 
way presented himself at Cologne, assembled the folk [there] 
and spoke to them : — 

" Hear ye what has befallen. Whilst I sailed upon the 
river Schelde, Cloderic, the son of my kinsman, pursued his 
father, pretending that I desired him to kill him ; and while 
Sigebert fled across the forest of Buconia, Cloderic compassed 
his death by brigands. Then he himself, — at the moment 
he was opening the treasures of his father, — was smitten 
and slain ! — I know not by whom. I am in no way an ac- 
complice in these deeds ; for I cannot shed the blood of my 
kinsfolk — something utterly unlawful ! But since the thing 
is done, I give you council ; if you are willing, receive me [as 
your king] . Have recourse to me and put yourselves under 
my protection ! " 

1 The ruler of an outlying tribe o£ the Franks. 

* Native Prankish battle ax. ' 


The Ripuarian Franks [of Cologne] welcomed these words 
with loud applause, and with the clashing of their shields. 
They lifted Clovis upon a shield, and proclaimed him king 
over them. 

[The kind of "Orthodox Christianity" Clovis represented is 
shown by the following anecdote from the historian, Gregory of 
Tours (II, 37).] 

King Clovis said unto his soldiers [being about to fall 
upon the Visigoths] : — 

" It is with heaviness that I see these Arians [heretics] 
holding a portion of Gaul. Come now, with the a!id of God 
let us march on them : and when we have conquered them, 
let us make their country submit to our lordship." 

[Again Gregory of Tours (II, 40) says of the piety of this 
savage :] 

" Daily did God cause Clovis's enemies to fall into his hand, 
and increased his kingdom ; seeing that he went about with 
his heart right before the Lord, and did that which was 
pleasing in His eyes." 

133. Ttpical Passages from the Law op the Salian 


Henderson, " Select Historical Documents of the Middle Ages,",bool£ n, 
No. 1, pp. 176 ff., extracts 

This compilation of the law and customs of the Salian Franks 
(an important branch of the Prankish people) was made probably 
about 500 A.D. From it one gets a good idea of the Germanic 
institution of Wergeld, and how a higher price was set on a 
Frank than on a Roman. Note, too, that this law had to deal 
with a very primitive society. Most litigation would be over 
crimes of violence, while cases of broken contracts, nice questions 
of land title, etc., were far less important. 


If any one steal a sucking pig and it be proved against 
him, he shall be sentenced to 120 denars, which make 3 

If any one steal a pig that can live without its mother 
he shall be sentenced to 40 denars — that is, 1 shilling. 

If any one steal that bull which rules the herd and has 
never been yoked, he shall be sentenced to 1800 denars, 
which make 45 shillings. 

If any free man steal, outside the house, something worth 
2 denars, he shall be sentenced to 600 denars, which make 
15 shillings. 

If any slave steal, outside the house, something worth 2 
denars, he shall, besides paying the worth of the object and 
the fines for delay, be stretched out and receive 120 blows. 

If any one shall have assaulted and plundered a free man 
and it be proved against him, he shall be sentenced to 2500 
denars, which make 63 shillings. 

If a Roman has plundered a Salian Frank, the above law 
shall be observed. 

But if a Frank have plundered a Roman, he shall be 
sentenced to 35 shillings. 

[Under the title " Concerning Wounds " there is a care- 
fully graded line of penalties, e.g. for] striking another on 
the head so that the brain appears and the three bones 
which lie above the brain shall project [penalty 30 shillings], 

[Same penalty plus 5 shillings physician's fee] if the 
wound shall be between the ribs or the stomach so that the 
wound appears and reaching to the entrails. 

If any one shall strike a man so that the blood falls to the 
floor [penalty 15 shillings]. 

[For a fist blow] so that the blood does not flow, for 
each blow up to three blows [penalty 3 shillings]. 

If any one shall have called a woman a " wanton " and 
shall not be able to prove it, he shall be sentenced to 1800 
denars, or 45 shillings. 


I" or calling another "fox" [penalty 3 shillings]. 

For calling another "hare" [penalty 3 shillings]. 

If a man shall have charged another -with having thrown 
away his shield,' and shall not be able to prove it, he shall 
be sentenced to 120 denars, or 3 shillings. 

If any man. have called another "spy," or "perjurer," and 
shall not be able to prove it, he shall be sentenced to 600 
denars, or 16 shillings. 

[Among the penalties for murder are] : — 

For killing a free Frank, or a barbarian living under the 
Salic law [penalty 8000 denars] . 

But if the slayer have cast him into a well, or covered 
him with branches or anything else to conceal him, then the 
penalty is 24000 denars, or 600 shillings. 

[For killing a Frank in service of the king the penalty is 
thrice as great.] 

If any one have slain a Roman who eats in the king's 
palace [the penalty is 1?000 denars, or 300 shillings]. 

But if the Roman shall not have been a landed proprietor 
and table companion of the King [the penalty is 100 shil- 

But if the Roman was obliged to pay tribute ^ [the penalty 
is 63 shillings]. 

[Under tlie title " Concerning Private Property " the 
entries read] : — 

If any man die and leave no sons, if the father and 
mother survive they shall inherit. 

If the father and mother do not survive and he leaves 
brothers or sisters, they shall inherit. 

But if there are no sisters of the father, the sisters of the 
mother shall claim that inheritance. 

If there are none of these, the nearest relatives on the 
father's side shall succeed to that inheritance. 

1 Which implied having fled the battle in a cowardly manneri 

2 That is, was a humble plebeian or semi-serf. 


But of Salic land no portion of the inheritance shall come 
to a woman, but the whole inheritance of the land shall 
come to the male sex.' 

[Title Concerning Wergekl.'] 

If any one's Jather have been killed, the sous shall have 
half of the compounding money (wergeld) ; and the other 
half the nearest relatives, as well on the mother's side as on 
the father's side, shall divide among themselves. 

But if there are no relatives, paternal or maternal, that 
portion shall go to the public treasury. 

1 A law invoked eight odd centuries later to prevent a woman from sitting 
upon the throne of France. This original law clearly had to do with mere 
land ownership ; there was no question here involved of rights to sovranty. 
This seems to be, however, the famous Salic Law of later history. 


After the first clash and roar and confusion of the downfall of 
the Western Empire and the coming of the Germans is over, 
certain definite factors display themselves in Europe. It is evi- 
dent, e.g., that while the Koman Empire is destroyed, many ele- 
ments in Eoman life and thought are firmly perpetuated within 
the new kingdoms of the invaders. Especially in Frankland 
(France plus modem Belgium and a large portion of western Ger- 
many) do the Merovingian kings inherit many of the forms of 
government and traditions of power possessed originally by the 
Csesars, and in Frankland especially does the great amalgamating 
process go on, which ultimately fuses the Romanized provincials 
and the Teutonic invaders into new races ; thus out of the barbarous 
kingdom of Clevis are bom, slowly and painfully, the glorious na- 
tion of France, and her mighty compeer, Germany. 

Another important phase of this period is the development in 
the Church of certain factors which become important elements in 
medieval history — especially the institutions of Monasticism, 
and the rise of the temporal power of the Papacy; while in the 
background of the Western Christian world now looms the rival 
society and religion of Islam, which remains a menace to the very 
life of Christendom all through the Middle Ages, and which is 
destined to make important contributions to the sum total of 
modem civUizatibn. 

Last of all, at the end of this first medieval period we have 
the figure of Charlemagne and his Empire. Eoman and Teuton 
in him seemingly have completed their amalgamation. The old 
classical civilization and Christianity appear to have entered Into 
permanent alliance. There is again a Western Empire, apparently 
on a far firmer basis than that of the fifth century. The pros- 
pect indeed proves to be delusive. The revived Empire is in 



reality the creation of one exceedingly able man and of his im- 
mediate predecessors. In less than a century it has fallen again 
into numerous contending fragments, while society has lapsed into 
the " organized anarchy " of the Feudal System. Nevertheless the 
reign of Charlemagne may be fairly considered a turning point in 
world history. Before him we still speak of " Gaul " and " Gallo- 
Romans " ; after him we soon must speak of "France " and " French- 
men." In the place of the " vulgar Latin " of the provincials we 
soon meet the developing French and German tongues as exem- 
plified in the Oaths of Strassburg (842 A.D.). An entirely new set 
of problems confronts the historical student, and " Medieval 
History " in the strictest sense of the term may be said to begin. 
In this chapter will be found excerpts illustrating typical phases 
of this most interesting period, although space limitations compel 
the omission of much profitable material, especially that relating 
to Charlemagne. 

134. Manners and Life in Frankland in the 
Merovingian Period 

Based upon Pannentiei, " Album Historique," vol. I, pp. SSff. 

In Gaul, from the Age of Clovis down to the rise of the Carolingians, 
there was terrible confusion, and a setback to all forms of culture 
from which it took centuries to recover ; nevertheless the forms of 
civilized life were never wholly lost. Parmentier, a modem French 
writer, thus summarizes the scanty information as to the manners 
and customs of the Frankish conquerors of Gaul drawn from 
Gregory of Tours and other contemporary writers. 

When the different barbarian peoples were established in 
the Empire, they preserved at first their costume and their 
manners. But little by little, living among descendants of 
the Romans, who had also kept their own customs, they 
borrowed a great deal from the conquered population. These 
in turn were influenced by their new masters. A new soci- 
ety thus formed itself, which had its manners derived partly 
from the Grermans, partly from the Romang, 


The Merovingian kings gave to their people the example 
of these changes. They surely distinguished themselves 
still by their long and carefully dressed hair, from their sub- 
jects who clipped their hair short. As formerly, at their 
accession they were lifted upon a shield: the emblem of 
their power was always the spear -grasped in their hand. 
But speedily they took over the insignia of the emperors. 
They are represented on their coins with the consular toga 
and the imperial diadem. They had a seal. However, the 
kings did not as a rule live in " palaces " ; they preferred to 
reside in great " villas " in the midst of forests, close by 
rivers, at Gompifegne, Clichy, etc. 

In war the king rode on horseback, surrounded by cavaliers 
with lances, forming a kind of guard of honor. Their bar- 
barian subjects were armed still after the barbarian manner ; 
nevertheless a good many had adopted the Roman military 
costume. In sieges they made use of machines and of 
methods which the Romans had utilized. Their wars 
were usually cruel. They ravaged the country they 
attacked, and cut down the standing crops, the vines, 
and the fruit trees. Neither monasteries nor churches were 
respected. The v^arriors slew and massacred without pity. 

Life in FranMand during Peace 

In times of peace the great " Gallo-Roman " and Frankish 
magnates lived by preference in the open country. But the 
former, especially in south Gaul, often lived in cities built 
after the Roman fashion. In the north of Gaul, the rich 
barbarians resided in great farmsteads, protected by a moat 
and a palisaded wall, strengthened by towers ; or, lacking 
that, by hedges often as high as a person. These establish- 
ments, usually built of wood, contained besides quarters for 
the master, many buildings for agricultural purposes, store- 
houses, stables, cowsheds, water wheels, and lodgings for 
the slaves and, serfs who lived near the master. Sometimes 


could be found near the house a garden, with green turf, 
flowers, and fruit trees. 

The poor folk of the open country lived in mud huts, or 
in cabins of rough boards, with roofs covered with thatch 
or with reeds. 

In their fine estates the Gallo-Eoman nobles devoted their 
leisure — apart from looking after the upkeep of their estates 
— to games (among which tennis and dice were the favor- 
ites), or to reading, and to efforts at literary composition. 
Their wives were kept busy spinning wool and embroider- 
ing their garments of ceremony. The Gallo-Romans, too, 
as well as the barbarians, loved the chase. As for the 
kings, they had still other diversions, e.g. King Childebert 
at his palace in Metz took part in games in which some 
animal was baited by a pack of hounds. 

Eating had a great place in the life of this people, if one 
may judge from the descriptions of feasts which contempo- 
rary authors give us. Meats were much in demand, es- 
pecially pork. The rich ate wheat bread : the poor, barley 
bread. The most common beverages were beer, perry (made 
from pears), cider, and various wines. After dinner the 
men continued to drink, and we know from Gregory of Tours 
that neither masters nor varlets drank with moderation. 

Cities in Frankland 

The rich were all betaking themselves to the country, and 
the cities dwindled rapidly in importance. Since the last 
years of the Empire, almost all of these had protected 
themselves from the barbarians by a circuit of walls. The 
cities of the south still retained many of the monuments 
wherewith they had been adorned in Roman times. The 
northern cities had suffered more from barbarian ravages. 
Often they had been quickly rebuilt out of wood, and so 
were frequently the prey of conflagrations. Sometimes the 
inhabitants simply rebuilt their houses with the wreckage of 


the old buildings. These houses, which sometimes rose to 
three storeys, were grouped around the basilica, where the 
faithful came to participate in the religious services, to take 
their oaths upon the altar or tomb of the saints, or, in case 
of attack, to hide their movable wealth. 

Economic Conditions in Frankland 

The agricultural arts were fairly well developed; there 
was a certain amount of industry ; the slaves in a great 
establishment manufactured about all the articles needed in 
it; there was considerable commerce still with Constanti- 
nople and the East, especially for spices, silks, cotton goods, 
jewelers' wares, etc.; colonies of Syrian merchants were 
located at Paris and other cities ; nevertheless the Merovin- 
gian period was a very wretched one. Very often the lands 
lay waste, as the result of the continual wars waged by the 
princes. Pestilence joined itself to famine, and devastated 
whole districts. The rivers, illy guarded in their beds, 
produced inundations. Commerce was obstructed by the 
bad condition of the roads, which were often infested with 
brigands. Let us add to these miseries, the violent deeds 
and cruelties of men at once avaricious, ignorant, and brutal, 
and there is suggested a picture of the desolation of Gaul in 
the days of the Merovingians. 

135. Usages of the Chukch in the Early Middle 


Based upon Parmentier, " Album Histoiique," vol. I, pp. 77 fF. 

The usages of the Church at the time that the Empire was dis- 
solving, and the new barbarian kingdoms were forming, has been 
summarized by a very recent French writer. 

Beginning with the fifth century the Church began to 
distinguish itself from the lay-society in which it dwelled. 
Its members have their own peculiar costume : its build- 


ings differ from secular edifices: it gives its special rules 
to its solemn ceremonies. 

At first, the Christian clergy dressed like other men, but 
from the fifth century onward the laymen, little by little, 
abandoned the old Roman costume, while the clergy pre- 
served it, and so separated themselves from the rest of soci- 
ety. Already custom had distinguished the two kinds of 
clergy — the "Regular Clergy" — monks under a "rule" 
for their mode of life, and the "Secular Clergy," — who 
mingled in the doings of the world. 

From about 600 a.d. the Pope, and the bishops upon 
whom he had conferred it, wore, as special insignia, the 
pallium, a long tippet of white wool, draped around the 
shoulders and the two tips whereof fell one in front, one 
behind. It was decorated at the ends by little black crosses. 
The bishops only wore the miter commonly in the eleventh 
century, but from the eighth century onward the popes wore 
the tiara. The clergy were already tonsured. In Carolin- 
gian times they ran to great luxury in their dress. The 
miniature paintings of this time show us the churchmen 
wearing red, purple, blue, and green garments. They had 
embroidered " chasubles " ^ and " dalmatics," ' adorned with 
pearls, laces, and fringes. 

Churches were now very numerous. They were of two 
kinds, — cathedrals, where a bishop had his seat, and others 
built at burial places and used for funeral services, funerary 
masses, and anniversaries and other commemorations. Often 
they were built over the tomb of some old-time martyr. To 
the churches it was needful to join baptisteries, erected close 
by them : these were small structures containing the bathing 
places into which the new Christians entered to be baptized. 

1 Either a circular cloak hung from the shoulders, or a broad back piece 
and narrower front piece connected over the shoulders only. Worn only 
by the priest celebrating the Eucharist. 

' A full-length vestment with closed sleeves, slit at the sides. 


The Liturgies of the Church 

It was only towards the fourth century that the ceremonies 
of the Christian worship — the " Liturgy " — became some- 
what fixed. But the liturgy varied always according to the 
different ecclesiastical provinces. Between the fourth and 
eighth centuries the mass was said after two manners. In the 
churches of the north of Italy, Gaul, Spain, Britain and 
Ireland they followed the so-called OalUcan Usage. This 
Usage had peculiarities somewhat like the liturgy used in 
the Orient. . At Eome and in Africa they followed a more 
original usage, ^— the Roman Usage. This liturgy only sup- 
planted the other in the eighth century, at the time of the 
great reform of the clergy \indertaken by the Carolingian 
princes. In Spain the Galilean Usage held its own down 
to the eleventh century, and during the whole of the Merovin- 
gian epoch mass was thus celebrated in Gaul. 

The Cliurch Holidays 

It is during this time that the principal holidays of 
Christianity began to be observed. The " movable feasts " 
were always borrowed from the Jewish calendar ; e.g. 
Easter and Pentecost: but the observance of Lent did not 
date back of the fourth century. The celebration of Palm 
Sunday by a procession with palms was at first peculiar to 
Jerusalem, and only spread to the West in the eighth and 
ninth centuries. Among the '■' fixed feasts " Christmas began 
to be celebrated in the fourth century. It is also beginning 
with this period that they began to observe by festivals the 
different events in the life of the Virgin Mary, the merits 
of the great saints, the anniversaries of martyrs. Most of 
the greater feasts were preceded by fasts. 

The bishop of Vienne, Mammertius, introduced into 
Gaul in the fifth century the practise of Bogations. These 
consisted in a procession around the country, accompanied 


by prayers, chants, and invocations of God, the angels, and 
the saints. The dedication of churches, the translation of 
saints' relics, — something held greatly in honor during this 
period, — were also accompanied by important ceremonies. 
It was at this time too that the use was established of con- 
secrating by prayer the different hours of the day ; and 
from this period the " holy oflBce " was celebrated daily in 
the churches at " the canonical hours " with the participar 
tion of the clergy and under their direction. 

136. St. Simeon Stylites and how he achieyed 

Evagrius, "Ecclesiastical History," book I, chap. 13. Bohn Tianslation 

Very early after their inception, the monks of the Greco-Oriental 
church ran ofl' into practices which the more rational Latin church of 
the West never imitated. What passed for " extreme holiness " 
in Syria in the fifth century a.d. is shown by this story of St. Simeon 
of the PiUar. Attempts in Gaul to imitate this man were wisely 
frowned upon by the Church authorities. 

In these times [about 440 a.d.] flourished and became 
illustrious, Simeon, of holy and famous memory, who origi- 
nated the contrivance of stationing himself on the top of a 
column, thereby occupying a space of scarce two cubits in 
circumference. This man, endeavoring to realize in the 
flesh the existence of the heavenly hosts, lifts himself above 
the concerns of earth, and overpowering the downward tend- 
ency of man's nature, is intent on things above. [He was 
adored by all the countryside, wrought many miracles, and 
the Emperor Theodosius II listened to his advice and sought 
his benediction.] 

Simeon prolonged his endurance of this mode of life 
through 56 years ; nine of which he spent in the first mon- 
astery where he was instructed in divine knowledge, and 

440 A.D.] ST. SIMEON STYLITES . 349 

47 in the " Mandra " as it was called ; namely, ten in a cer- 
tain nook; on shorter columns, seven; and thirty upon one 
of forty cubits} After his departure [from this life] his 
holy body was conveyed to Antioch, escorted by the garri- 
son, and a great concourse guarding the venerable body, 
lest the inhabitants of the neighboring cities should gather 
and carry it otf. In this manner it was conveyed to 
Antioch, and attended, during its progress, with extraordi- 
nary prodigies. 

[The body] has been preserved nearly entire until my time 
[about 580]; and in company with many priests, I enjoyed 
a sight of his sacred head, in the episcopate of the famous 
Gregory, when Philippicus had requested that precious relic 
of the saints might be sent him for the protection of the 
Eastern armies. [The head was well preserved save for 
the teeth] some of which had been violently removed by 
the hands of the pious [for relics]. 

[According to another writer, Theodoret, in Simeon's life- 
time, he was visited by pilgrims from near and far ; Persia, 
Ethiopia, Spain, and even Britain. To these at times he 
delivered sermons. He wore on his body a heavy iron 
chain. In praying, " he bent his body so that his forehead 
almost touched his feet." A spectator once counted 1244 
repetitions of this movement, and then gave up reckoning. 
Simeon took only one scanty meal per week, and fasted 
through the season of Lent. It is alleged that the devil 
having afflicted him with an ulcer in his thigh as reward 
for a little self-righteousness, Simeon, as penance, never 
touched the afflicted leg upon the pillar again, and stood 
for the remaining year of his life upon one leg.]^ 

1 Say sixty feet or higher. 

2 Some of these details are, no doubt, exaggerations, hut the feats in 
physical austerity of Simeon hardly surpass those of the sacred fakirs of 


137. Extracts from the Monastic Rule of St. Bene- 

Abridged from Henderson, " Select Historical Documents of the Middle 
Ages," book m, 1, p. 274 ff. 

In 529 A.D. St. Benedict of Nursia founded at Monte Casino 
in Campania a famous monastery. The "rule," or system of 
government, which he gave it, became a model for countless other 
monasteries. Benedict was not a fanatic. He gave no impossible 
precepts of austerity, like certain monkish leaders in the East. 
In him again the old practical Roman spirit manifested itself. 
Thousands of men have sought holiness in the Benedictine clois- 
ters, and the system they followed possesses abiding interest. 

Prologue. We are about to found a sclwol for the Lord^s 
service ; in the organization of which we trust that we shall 
ordain nothing severe and nothing burdensome. But even 
if, the demands of justice dictating it, something a little 
irksome shall be the result . . . thou shalt not therefore, 
struck by fear, flee the way of salvation. But as one's way 
of life and one's faith progresses, the heart becomes broad- 
ened, and with unutterable sweetness of love, the way of the 
mandates of the Lord is traversed. 

What the Abbot should be like. An abbot who is worthy 
to preside over a monastery ought always to remember what 
he is called, and carry out with his deeds the name of a 
" Superior " ; for he is believed to be Christ's representa- 
tive. And so the abbot should not teach or decree or order 
anything apart from the precept of the Lord ; but his order 
or teaching should be sprinkled with the ferment of divine 
justice in the minds of his disciples. . . . [Only where 
he has exercised his uttermost care and ability can he be 
absolved of responsibility to God if his monks go astray.] 

Concerning obedience. [The monks are to practice humility 
by implicitly obeying their superiors.] And in the same 
moment let command of the master and the perfected work 


of the disciple — both together in the swiftness of the fear 
of God — be called into being by those who are possessed 
with a desire of advancing to eternal salvation. Thus living 
not according to their own judgment, nor obeying their own 
desires and commands, let them desire an abbot to rule 
over them. 

Whether the monks should have anything of their oiun f 
More than any other thing is this special vice to be cut ofE 
root and branch from the monastery, that one should 
presume to give or receive anything without the order of the 
abbot, or should have anything of his own. He should have 
absolutely nothing — neither a book, nor tablets, nor a pen — 
nothing at all, — for indeed it is not allowable to the monks 
to have their own bodies or wills in their own power ; but 
all things necessary they must expect of the Father of 
the monastery. 

Concerning the food allowance. We believe that for the 
daily refection of the sixth as well as of the ninth hour two 
cooked dishes, on account of the infirmities of the different 
ones, are enough for all tables ; so that, perchance, whoever 
cannot eat of one dish may partake of the other. Therefore 
let two cooked dishes suffice for all the brothers ; if it is 
possible to obtain apples or growing vegetables, a third may 
be added. One full pound of bread shall suffice for a day; 
and [ . • . half a hemina of wine, ^ but care must be taken 
to prevent overindulgence]. 

Concerning the daily manual labor. Idleness is the enemy 
of the soul. And therefore, at fixed times, the brothers 
ought to be occupied in manual labor ; and again at fixed 
times in sacred reading. Therefore we believe that both 
seasons ought to be arranged [so that the time for sleeping, 
praying, working, eating, and reading be carefully ap- 

Whether a monk should be allowed to receive letters or any~ 

1 About half a pint. 


thing ? By no means shall it be allowed to a monk — either 
from his relatives, or from any man, or from one of his 
fellows — to receive or give, without order of the abbot, 
letters, .presents, or any gift however small. But even if by his 
relatives anything has been sent to him, he shall not presume 
to receive it, unless it has been first shown to the abbot. 
But if he order it to be received, it shall be in the power of 
the abbot to give it to whomever he will ; and the brother 
to whom it happened to be sent shall not be chagrined. 

[2%e Independence of the monastery from the world.'] A 
monastery ought — if it can be done — to be so arranged 
that everything necessary, — water, a mill, a garden, a 
bakery, — may be made use of, and different arts be carried 
on within the monastery, so that there shall be no need for 
the monks to wander about outside; for this is not at all 
good for their souls. 

How the monks shall sleep. They shall sleep separately 
in separate beds. If it can be done, they shall all sleep in 
one place; [if too numerous] by tens and twenties. A candle 
shall always be burning in that same cell until early in the 
morning. They shall sleep clothed, and girt with belts or 
with ropes, and they shall not have their knives at their 
sides while they sleep, lest perchance in a dream they should 
wound the sleepers. And let the monks be always on the 
alert [to rise with great promptness, without grumbling, 
upon the signal]. 

138. Legal Conditions and the Personality of Law 


Vlnogradoff, " Roman Law in Medieeval Europe," pp. 14-18, abridged 

The perplexing problems that arose during the death struggle 
of the Empire and the rise of the new Germanic kingdoms as to 
the legal systems under which all the heterogerieous peoples — 
Romans, Franks, Goths, Burgundiana, etc. — might dwell, is here 


stated by a modern writer ; there is also given an explanation of 
the rough-and-ready methods by which a very difficult problem 
was handled. 

It must be noticed that no State of this period was strong 
enough to enforce a compact legal order of its own, exclud- 
ing all other laws, or treating them as enactments confined 
to aliens. Even the most powerful of the barbarian govern- 
ments . . . such as the Lombard or Trankish, dealt with a 
state of affairs based on a mixture of legal arrangements. 
The Carolingian rulers, and especially Charlemagne, intro- 
duced some unity in matters of such vital importance to 
the government, but racial differences were allowed to crop 
up everywhere. Law became necessarily personal and local 
in its application. 

The forcible entry of the Goths, Lombards, and Franks 
into the provinces did not in any sense involve the disap- 
pearance or denationalization of the Roman inhabitants. 
The legal status of the latter was allowed to continue. The 
personality of a Eoman was valued in a peculiar way, 
differing from the barbarians that surrounded him. It cost 
200 soldi to atone for the homicide of a Eoman in Frankish 
Gaul. All intercourse between Romans was ruled by the 
law of their race. When a Eoman of Toulouse married a 
girl of the same race, she brought him a dos in accordance 
with Paulus's Sententice} He exercised a father's authority 
over his children, on the strength of the ancient custom of 
patria potestas as modified by the laws of Constantine. 
[And so Eoman law ruled the provincials in matters of 
wills, property, etc.] 

In all these and in many other respects the legal rights 
of the Eoman would be at variance with those of his Ger- 
man neighbors. These again would act differently, each 
according to his own peculiar nationality, as Salian Franks, 

1 A well-known Koman law book. 


or Eipuariau [Fi-anks], BaA-arians, or Burgundians, etc 
The position booame \orv intricate whou nioiubers of differ, 
ent nationalities, living under different laws, were brought 
together to transaot business witli each other. As Bishop 
Agobard of Lyons tolls ns about S^O a.d. it happened con- 
stantly that five people meeting in one room, each followed 
a law of his own. 

The reports of a trial [in Gaul] between the monasteries 
of Fleurv on the Loire, and St. l>i>nis provides a good illus- 
tration of the points raised on such oooasions. The case 
was brought before the tribunal of tlu> Frsiukish Court It 
was found necessary to adjourn it, because both [litigajits] 
were ecclesiastical corporations, and as such entitled to a 
judgment according to lioman Law, of which none of the 
judges was cognizant. E.\perts in Koman Law are sum- 
moned as assessors, and the trial prot'ooils at the second 
meeting of the tribunal. The parties would like to prove 
their right by single combat between tlieir witnesses, but 
one of the assessors of the court protests against tlie wag- 
ing of battle, on the ground that such a mode of proof 
would be contrary to Roman Law. The point at issue is 
therefore examined and decided according to Romsui rules 
of procedure, — that is, by the production of witnesses and 
documents. . . . 

The rules for allowing or disallowing recourse to one or 
the other personal law were necessarily rather complicated. 
For instance, the payment of fines for crimes was appoi"- 
tioned according to the law of the criminal, and not of the 
offended party. As regards contracts, eaci> party was held 
bound by the rule of its own law ; but if the contract was 
accompanied by a wager, it was interpreted according to 
the law of the party making the wager. In the case of 
a contract corroborated by a deed (carta), the legal form 
and interpretation depended on the status of the person 
executing the deed. Some casus [were still more complex, 


e.g.'] iu an Italian charter of 780, we find that a certain 
Felix makes a donation to his daughter, and receives of 
her a Jaiinegild (a compensation), according to the Lombard 
Law, although as a clerk he is himself subject to Roman 
Law. The reason is that, while still a layman, he received 
the property in question from his wife according to Lom- 
bai-d Law. 

139. Medieval Ordeal Formulas 

Henderson, " Select Historical Docaments of the Middle Ages," book in, 
No. 8, p. 314 ff. 

In resorting to the casting of lots or to various forms of oi-deals 
to determine questions of guilt, the churchmen and laity of the 
Middle Ages found ample authority in the Bible (e.g. Jonah, 
chap. I, vs. 7). Again the wliole process of referring a vexed 
question to au infallible Deity would seem highly satisfactory to 
a people still in a state of very simple faith. Besides this, it 
must be remembered that the means of sifting evidence skillfully, 
according to the methods of modern courts, were very imperfect. 

The Judgment of the Oloioing Iron 

After the accusation has been lawfully made and three 
days have passed in fasting and prayer, the priest clad in 
his sacred vestments shall take with the tongs the iron 
placed before the altar, and singing "The Hymn of the 
Thi-ee Youths,"^ namely, "Bless Him all His works," he 
shall beai" the iron to the fire and shall say this prayer over 
the place where the fire is to carry out the judgment: 
" Bless, Lord God, this place that there may be for us 
in it sanctity, chastity, virtue, and victorj-, and holiness, 
humility, goodness, gentleness, and plenitude of law and 
obedience to God the Father and the Son and the Holy 

1 The t^ree childreu of Israel cast into the furnace by Nebuchadnezzar 
of Babylon. 


After this the iron shall be placed in the fire, and shall 
be sprinkled with holy water ; and while it is heating he 
shall celebrate mass. But when the priest shall have taken 
the Eucharist, he shall adjure the man who is about to be 
tried . . . and cause him to take the communion. 

Then the priest shall sprinkle holy water above the iron 
and shall say, " The blessing of God descend upon this iron 
for the discerning of the right judgment of God." And 
straightway the accused shall carry the iron to a distance of 
nine feet. Finally his hand shall be covered under seal for 
three days, and if festering blood be found in the track of 
the iron, he shall be judged guilty. But if, however, he 
shall go forth uninjured, praise shall be rendered to God. 

The Judgment of Boiling Water 

Having performed the mass the priest shall descend to 
the place appointed, where the trial itself shall be gone 
through with ; he shall carry with him the book of gospels 
and a cross and shall chant a moderate litany, and [when 
finished] he shall exorcise and bless that water before it 

After this he shall divest the accused of his garments, 
and clothe him with clean vestments of the church, that is, 
with the garment of an exorcist or of a deacon — and shall 
cause him to kiss the gospel and the cross of Christ, [and 
sprinkle him with the water, and cause him to drink 
thereof]. Then pieces of wood shall be put under the 
caldron, and the priest shall say prayers when the water 
itself shall begin to grow warm. . . . And that boiling 
water shall be put down hastily near the fire, and the judge 
shall suspend that stone, bound to that measure, within 
that same water, in the accustomed way. 

Thus he who enters to be tried by the judgment shall ex- 
tract it thence in the name of God Himself. Afterward 
with great diligence his hand shall be wrapped up, signed 


with the seal of the judge, until the third day ; when it shall 
be viewed aad judged of by suitable men. 

[T7te Judgment of the Morsel was another ordeal, when 
after due prayers and exorcisms all the parties accused of a 
theft partook of consecrated bread and cheese ; the priest 
saying as he places the morsel in the mouth of each defend- 
ant,] " I conjure thee, man, by God [and all the saints], 
that if thou werest partner in this theft, or didst know of it, 
or have any fault in it, that bread and cheese may not pass 
thy gullet and throat; but that thou mayest tremble like an 
aspen leaf ; and have no rest, man, until thou dost vomit- 
it forth with blood, if thou hast committed aught in the mat- 
ter of the aforesaid theft." 

140. Typical Passages feom the Koran 

Rodwell's tianslation of the Koran by Mohammed 

Mohammed was an illiterate man. After he came to have a 
following, his disciples reduced his utterances to writing, and under 
the first kalif (Abu-Bekr) they were put in some sort of order, 
albeit with very slight editing. There are 114 suras (chapters). 
We find no narrative as in the Bible ; the suras are, some of them, 
religious poems (something like the Hebrew psalms), sometimes 
lists of formal injunctions and precepts to the prophet's followers. 
They are in rhythmic proae, and occasionally rise almost to the 
level of noble poetry. The Koran can best be understood by 
remembering that it was composed by a Bedouin Arab in Bedouin 
language and metaphor. With some pains to make out the figures 
of speech, Mohammed's religious meanings are fairly easy to under- 

The Moslem "Lord's Prayer." [Sura 1^ 

In the Name of Allah the Compassionate and Merciful} 
Praise be to Allah, Lord of the worlds ! 
The compassionate, the merciful ! 
I All the suras (chapters) of the Koran properly begin with this formula. 


King of the day of reckoning ! 

Thee only do we worship, and to Thee do we cry for help. 
Guide Thou us on the straight path, 

The path of those to whom Thou art gracious : — with whom 
Thou art not angry, and who go not astray. 

The Day of Judgment and the Fate Hereafter. \_Sura 57] 

Hath the tidings of the day [of judgment] that shall over- 
shadow reached thee ? 
Downcast on that day shall be the countenances of some, 
Travailing and worn, 
Burnt at the scorching fire. 
Made to drink from a fountain fiercely boiling. 
No food shall that have but the fruit of Darih,* 
Which shall not fatten, nor appease their hunger. 

Joyous too on that day, [shall be] the countenances of 

Well pleased with their labors past, 
In a lofty garden. 

No vain discourse shalt thou hear therein ; 
Therein shall be raised couches. 
And goblets ready placed. 
And cushions laid in order, 
And carpets spread forth. 

Can they not look up to the clouds, how they are created; 

And to the heaven how it is upraised ; 

And to the mountains how they are rooted ; 

And to the earth, how it is outspread ? 

Warn them then, for thou ^ art a warner only ; 

Thou hast no authority over them ; 

But whoever shall turn back and disbelieve, 

Allah shall punish him with greater punishment. 

1 A thorny, bitter shrub. 

i)God is conceived as giving this message to Mohammed. 


Verily to Us shall they return ; 

Then shall it be Ours to reckon with them. 

The Fate of the Righteous and Wicked. \^Sura 57] 

[As to the righteous] a banquet shall they have, 

A banquet of fruits, and honored shall they be, 

In the gardens of delight, 

Upon couches face to face. 

A cup shall be borne round among them from a fountain ; 

Limpid, delicious to those who drink : 

It shall not oppress the sense, nor shall they therewith be 

And with them are the large-eyed ones [the houris] with 

modest, refraining glances. . . . 
Truly great is their felicity ! 
[And the wicked in turn must eat of the tree Ez- 

It is a tree that cometh up from the bottom of hell ; 
Its fruits are as it were the heads of Satans ; 
And lo ! the damned shall surely eat of it, and fill their 

bellies with it. 
Then shall they have thereon a mixture of boiling water; 
Then shall they return to hell ! 

The Mandate of God to Mohammed and his Followers. 
ISura 75] 

Thou enfolded in thy mantle : 

Stand up . . . for prayer. 

For we shall devolve on thee mighty words : 

Verily at the oncoming of night are devout impressions 
strongest, and words are most collected. 

But in the day time thou hast continual employ — 

Ajid commemorate the name of thy Lord, and devote thy- 
self to him with entire devotion. 


Lord of the East and of the West ! No God is there but 
He ! Take Him for thy protector ! 

The day cometh when the earth and the mountains shall be 
shaken : and the mountains become a loose heap of 
sand. * 

Verily we have sent you an Apostle to witness against you, 
even as we sent an Apostle [Moses] to Pharaoh. 

And how if ye believe not, will you screen yourselves 
from the day that shall turn children grayheaded ?, 

The very heaven shall be reft asunder by it : this threat 
shall be carried into effect. 

Lo ! this is a warning. Let him who will, take the way to 
his Lord. 

Of a truth, thy Lord knoweth that thou [0 Mohammed] 
prayest two thirds, or half, or a third of the night, as 
do a part of thy followers. But Allah measureth the 
night and the day : — He knoweth that ye cannot count 
its hours aright, and therefore, turneth to you merci- 
fully. Recite then so much of the Koran as may be 
easy to you.* He knoweth that there will be some 
among you sick, while others travel through the earth 
in quest of the bounties of Allah ; and others do battle 
in His cause. Recite therefore so much of it as may 
be easy. And observe the prayers and pay the legal 
alms, and lend Allah a liberal loan; for whatever good 
works ye send on before for your own behoof, ye shall 
find with Allah. This will be best and richest in the 
recompense. And seek the forgiveness of Allah ; verily 
Allah is forgiving [and] merciful ! 

> Note the extremely practical and accommodating spirit of these pre- 
cepts. There is nothing in them of the Christian doctrines of perfection. 
Any man of average zeal and conscientiousness could be a good 


Yarious Passages illustrating Mohammed's Doctrine 
On the Unity of God. [Sura 11S.'\ 
Declare — Allah is God alone : 
Allah the Eternal ! 

He begetteth not, and He is not begotten. 
And there is none like unto Him. 

On attacking Christians and Jews. [^Sura 9."] 
Make war upon such of those to whom the Scriptures have 
been given as believe not in Allah oi- in the last day, and 
who forbid not that which Allah and his Apostle have 
forbidden, and who profess not the profession of the 
truths, until they pay tribute by right of subjection, 
and they be humbled. 

On the Mission of Mohammed. [_Sura SS."] 

Prophet! we have sent thee to be a witness, and a 

herald of glad tidings and a warner ! 
And one who, through His own permission, summoneth 

to Allah and a light- giving torch. 
Announce therefore to believers, that great boons await 

them from Allah ! 

On Tlie Last Di-ead Judgment. [^Sura 99.'} 

When the Earth with her quakings shall quake, 

And the earth shall cast forth her burdens. 

And men shall say " What aileth her ? " 

On that day shall she tell out her tidings, 

Because thy Lord shall have inspired her. 

On that day shall men come forward in throngs [from the 

dead] to behold their works. 
And whosoever shall have wrought an atom's weight of 

good — he shall behold it! 
And whosoever shall have wrought an atom's weight of 

evil — he shall behold it ! 


141. The Opinion ov Musa, the Saracen Coxquerob 
OP Spain, as to the Franks 

From an Arabian Chronicler. Quoted in Zeller, " Rois Faineants et Maires du 
Palais," p. 120 

The following opinion was expressed about the Franks by the 
emir who conquered Spain, and who — had he not been recalled — 
might have commanded at Tours. It shows what the Arab leaders 
thought of the men of the North up to the moment of their great 
disillusionment by " The Hammer." 

[Musa being returned to Damascus, the Kalif Abd-el- 
Melek asked of him about his conquests,] saying 

"Now tell me about these Franks, — what is their nature ?" 

" They," replied Musa, " are a folk right numerous, and 
full of might: brave and impetuous in the attack, but 
cowardly and craven in event of defeat." 

" And how has passed the war betwixt them and thyself ? 
Favorably or the reverse ? " 

" The reverse ? No, by Allah and the prophet ! " spoke 
Musa. "Never has a company from my army been beaten. 
And never have the Moslems hesitated to follow me when I 
have led them ; though they were twoscore to fourscore." 

142. An Early Story of the Battle of Tours ob 

Isidore of Beja's " Chronicle." Quoted in Zeller, " Rois Faineants et Maires 
du Palais," p. 122 

The defeat of the Saracen invaders of Frankland at Tours (more 
properly Poitiers) in 732 a.d. was a turning point in history. It 
is not likely the Moslems, if victorious, would have penetrated, 
at least at once, far into the north, but they would surely have 
seized South Gaul, and thence readily have crushed the weak 
Christian powers of Italy. It is very unfortunate that we do not 
possess scientific accounts of Charles Martel's great victory, instead 
of the interesting but insufficient stories of the old Christian 


Then Abdrahman, [the Moslem emir] seeing the land 
filled with the multitude of his army, crossed the Pyrenees, 
and traversed the defiles [in the mountains] and the plains, 
so that he penetrated ravaging and slaying clear into the 
lands of the Franks. He gave battle to Duke Eudes (of 
Aquitaine) beyond the Garonne and the Dordogne, and put 
him to flight, — so utterly [was he beaten] that God alone 
knew the number of the slain and wounded. Whereupon 
Abdrahmau set in pursuit of Eudes ; he destroyed palaces, 
burned churches, and imagined he could pillage the basilica 
of St. Martin of Tours. It is then that he found himself 
face to face with the lord of Austrasia, Charles, a mighty 
warrior from his youth, and trained in all the occasions of 

For almost seven days the two armies watched one another, 
waiting anxiously the moment for joining the struggle. 
Finally they made ready for combat. And in the shock of 
the battle the men of the North seemed like unto a sea that 
cannot be moved.^ Firmly they stood, one close to another, 
forming as it were a bulwark of ice ; and with great blows 
of their swords they hewed down the Arabs. Drawn up in 
a band around their chief, the people of the Austrasians 
carried all before them. Their tireless hands drove their 
swords down to the breasts [of the foe]. 

At last night sundered the combatants. The Franks with 
misgivings, lowered their blades, and beholding the number- 
less tents of the Arabs, prepared themselves for another 
battle the next day. Very early, when they issued from 
their retreat, the men of Europe saw the Arab tents ranged 
still in order, in the same place where they had set up their 
camp. Unaware that they were utterly empty, and fearful 
lest within the phalanxes of the Saracens were drawn up 

1 The Saracens may be imagined hurling their splendid cavalry all day 
Ion" in battering charges upon Charles's lines, and being unflinchingly 


for combat, they sent out spies to ascertain the facts. 
These spies discovered that all the squadrons of the 
" Ishmaelites " had vanished. In fact, during the night 
they had fled with the greatest silence, seeking with all 
speed their home land. The Europeans, uncertain and fear- 
ful, lest they were merely hidden in order to come back [to 
fall upon them] by ambushments, sent scouting parties 
everywhere, but to their great amazement found nothing. 
Then without troubling to pursue the fugitives, they con- 
tented themselves with sharing the spoils and returned 
right gladly to their own country. 

Part of Another Account of the Same Battle by the Chronide 
of St. Denis 

[The Moslems planned to go to Tours] to destroy the 
Church of St. Martin, the city, and the whole country. 
Then came against them the glorious Prince Charles, at the 
head of his whole force. He drew up his host, and he 
fought as fiercely as the hungry wolf falls upon the stag. 
By the grace of Our Lord, he wrought a great slaughter 
upon the enemies of Christian faith, so that — as history 
bears witness — he slew in that battle 300,000 men [!], like- 
wise their "king" [i.e. leader] by name Abdrahman. Then 
was he [Charles] first called " Martel," for as a hammer of 
iron, of steel, and of every other metal, even so he dashed 
and smote in the battle all his enemies. And what was the 
greatest marvel of all, he only lost in that battle 1500 men. 
The tents and harness [of the enemy] were taken: and 
whatever else they possessed became a prey to him and his 

Endes, Duke of Aquitaine, being now reconciled with 
Prince Charles Martel, later slew as many of the Saracens 
as he could find who had escaped from the battle. 


143. Bagdad ukder the Abbaside Kalifs 

Abridged from Ameer Ali, " History of the Saracens," p. 464 

Bagdad " the city of the Arabian nights " was founded in 764 
A.D. by the Abbaside Kalif Almansur. It was in its prime about 
800 A.D., during the reign of the famous Haroun-al-Raschid. What 
this city, — which represented the crown of Saracenic civilization, 
— resembled, is told by a modern and very scholarly Mohammedan 
writer. He in turn makes a transcription from the medieval 
" Geographical Encyclopiedia " of Yakiit — an author who saw 
Bagdad in its glory. 

The city of Bagdad formed two vast semi-circles on the 
right and left banks of the Tigris, twelve miles in diameter. 
The numerous suburbs, covered with parks, gardens, villas 
and beautiful promenades, and plentifully supplied with 
rich bazaars, and finely built mosques and baths, stretched 
for a considerable distance on both sides of the river. 

In the days of its prosperity the population of Bagdad 
and its suburbs amounted to over two millions ! The 
palace of the Kalif stood in the midst of a vast park 
" several hours in circumference " which beside a menagerie 
and aviary comprised an inclosure for wild animals re- 
served for the chase. The palace grounds were laid out 
with gardens, and adorned with exquisite taste with plants, 
flowers, and trees, reservoirs and fountains, surrounded by 
sculptured figures. On this side of the river stood the 
palaces of the great nobles. Immense streets, none less 
than forty cubits wide, traversed the city from one end to 
the other, dividing it into blocks or quarters, each under 
the control of an overseer or supervisor, who looked after the 
cleanliness, sanitation and the comfort of the inhabitants. 

The water exits both on the north and the south were 
like the city gates, guarded night and day by relays of 
soldiers stationed en the watch towers on both sides of the 
river. Every household was plentifully supplied with 


water at all seasons by the numerous aqueducts which 
int6i'sected the town ; and the streets, gardens and parks 
were regularly swept and watered, and no refuse was 
allowed to remain within the walls. 

An immense square in front of the imperial palace was 
used for reviews, military inspections, tournaments and 
races ; at night the square and the streets were lighted by 

There was also a vast open space where the troops whose 
barracks lay on the left bank of the river were paraded 
daily. The long wide estrades at the different gates of the 
city were used by the citizens for gossip and recreation or 
for watching the flow of travelers and country folk into 
the capital. The different nationalities in the capital had 
each a head officer to represent their interests with the 
government, and to whom the stranger could appeal for 
counsel or help. 

Bagdad was a veritable City of Palaces, not made of 
stucco and mortar, but of marble. The buildings were 
usually of several stories. The palaces and mansions were 
lavishly gilded and decorated, and hung with beautiful 
tapestry and hangings of brocade or silk. The rooms were 
lightly and tastefully furnished with luxurious divans, 
costly tables, unique Chinese vases and gold and silver 

Both sides of the river were for miles fronted by the 
palaces, kiosks, gardens and parks of the grandees and 
nobles, marble steps led down to the water's edge, and the 
scene on the river was animated by thousands of gondolas, 
decked with little flags, dancing like sunbeams on the water, 
and carrying the pleasure-seeking Bagdad citizens from 
one part of the city to the other. Along the wide-stretching 
quays lay whole fleets at anchor, sea and river craft of all 
kinds, from the Chinese junk to the (jld Assyrian raft 
resting on inflated skins. ' 


[The mosques of the city were at once vast in size and 
remarkably beautiful. There were also in Bagdad numerous 
colleges of learning, hospitals, infirmaries for both sexes, 
and lunatic asylums.] 

144. How Pope Gregory I made Peace with the 

Lombards and corresponded with the 

Lombard Court 

Paulus Diaconus, " History of the Langobards," book IT, chaps. S-9. 


Gregory I (Pope 590 to 604 a.d.) was perhaps the greatest 
pontiff who ever reigned on the throne of St. Peter. No problem 
he confronted was more baffling than that of the Lombards, the 
latest and the fiercest invaders of Italy, who were threatening 
the very gates of Rome. Although left practically without sup- 
port by the Eastern Emperor, Gregory by the mingling of a show 
of authority and of skillful negotiation brought about a tolerable 
peace, and established friendly relations with the Lombard court 
at Pavia. Gregory was prince of Rome in aU but name, and did 
much to found the temporal power of the Papacy. 

In these days (593 a.d.) the most sage and holy Pope 
Gregory of Rome, after he had composed many other things 
for the use of the holy Church, also indicted four books of 
the Life of the Saints. This writing he called a dialogue, 
which is a conversation of two persons, because he had pro- 
duced it in discourse with his deacon Peter. The aforesaid 
Pope then sent these books to the Queen Theudelinda [of 
the Lombards], whom he knew to be undoubtedly devoted 
to the faith of Christ and distinguished in good works. 

By means of this queen, too, the church of God procured 
much that was serviceable. For the Lombards, when they 
were still bound in the error of heathenism, seized nearly 
all the property of the churches, but the King [Agilulf, 
her husband], moved by her wholesome supplications, not 


only embraced the Catholic faith ', but also bestowed much 
wealth upon the church of Christ, and restored to the honor 
of their accustomed dignity certain bishops who were in a 
straitened and abject condition. 

[Presently resenting some aggressions of the exarch of 
Ravenna, King Agilulf] straightway marched out of Pavia 
with a great army and attacked the city of Perusia, 
[Perugia] and there for some days he besieged Maurisio, 
the duke of the Lombards who had gone over to the 
Romans, and speedily took him and slew him. The blessed 
Pope Gregory was so sorely alarmed at the approach of this 
king that he ceased from his commentary upon the temple 
mentioned in Ezekiel, as he himself declares in his homilies. 

King Agilulf then, when matters were settled, returned 
to Pavia, and not long afterward, upon the special instiga- 
tion of his wife. Queen Theudelinda — since the blessed 
Pope Gregory had frequently so admonished her in his 
letters — he concluded a firm peace with the same most holy 
Pope Gregory and with the Romans, and that venerable 
prelate dispatched to this queen this letter, as expression of 
his gratitude : — 

Gregory Jo TTieudelinda, Queen of the Lombards : We 
have learned from the report of our son, the abbot Probus, 
that your Highness has consecrated yourself, as you are 
wont, zealously and magnanimously to making peace. Nor 
was it to be presumed otherwise from your Christianity but 
that you would show to all men your labor and your good- 
ness in the cause of peace. Wherefore we render thanks 
to God Almighty, who thus rules your heart by His affection, • 
that He has not only given unto you the true- faith, but 
that He also grants that you devote yourself always to the 
things which are pleasing to Him. For think not, most 
noble daughter, that you have obtained but scant reward for 

1 Probably this is a mistake. Agilulf seems to l»av« been merely a tol- 
erant heathen, who let his son be baptized. 


staying the blood that would otherwise have been poured 
out on either side. On account of this act we return thanks 
for your good will, and invoke the mercy of our God that 
He may mete out to you a recompense of good things in 
body and soul, both here and hereafter. 

Do you therefore, according to your wont, ever busy your- 
self with the things that relate to the welfare of the parties, 
and take pains to commend your good actions more fully in 
the eyes of God Almighty, wherever an opportunity may be 
given to win His reward, 

[A similar friendly letter, setting forth the advantages of 
peace, is sent to King Agilulf.] 

145. How Pepin the Short became King 01" the 

Chronicle of St. Denis, book V, chap. 82 

In 752 A.D. Pepin the Short replaced the last "Sluggard 
King " of the Merovingian line, as is here related. His appeal 
to the Pope for judgment on a purely temporal matter was an- 
other act in that process of linking the secular governments with 
the Papacy, which plays such an important part in medieval 
history. If the Pope could advise the deposition of a king, he 
would presently be in a fair way to he able to command it. 

Prince Pepin, when he saw that the King of the Franks 
who then was, wrought no profit to the kingdom, sent to 
the Pope Zacharias his messengers — Burkart the arch- 
bishop of IWurzburg and Fulrad Abbot of St. Denis to ask 
advice as to, " Who ought to be the King ? — He who had not 
the least power in the kingdom, and who bore the name 
only: or he by whom the kingdom was ruled, and who 
had the power and the care over all things?" And the 
Pope replied to them " that he ought to be called king who 
ruled the kingdom and who had the sovran power." Then 
he gave sentence that Pepin be crowned as King. 


In this same year Pepin was declared King by tlie 
decision of Pope Zacharias and by the election of the 
Pranks. He was consecrated in the city of Soissons by 
the hand of St. Boniface the martyr in the year of the 
incarnation of Our Lord 762. Childeric [the last Mero- 
vingian] who had been called King was shorn and cast 
into a monastery. Then King Pepin reigned 15 years 
4 months and 20 days. He had previously held the lord- 
ship over the palace and the kingdom, since the death of 
Charles Martel his father, for 10 years. 

146. Personal Traits of Charlemagne 
Eginhard, "Life of Charlemagne," XXD-XXVI 

Charles the Great or Charlemagne reigned from 771 to 814 over 
Frankland. He was in many respects the most notable figure in 
the Middle Ages. In him the strength of the young Germanic 
element, and the culture of the old Roman were happily com- 
bined. He seemed to reestabhsh that Empire of the West, which 
still gripped the imagination of Latin Christendom, and long after 
his dynasty had ceased to reign men thought of him as the ideally 
wise, beneficent, and omnipotent Emperor. An intimate sketch 
of such a person is always interesting. 

Charles was large and strong, of lofty stature, though not 
disproportionately tall (his height, it was well known, was 
seven times the length of his foot), the upper part of his 
face round, his eyes notably large and brilliant, lys nose in 
the least long, his hair fair, his' features lauding and 
merry. Thus whether standing or sitting he seemed always 
stately and dignified, notwithstanding that his neck was 
thick and ratlier short, and his belly rather prominent ; — 
the good proportions of the rest of his body covered these 

In accordance with the national custom he took frequent 
exercise riding and in the chase, accomplishments in which 


the Pranlis probably excel the world. He enjoyed the ex- 
halations from natural warm springs. Often he practiced 
swimming, in which art he was surpassingly proficient. 
Hence he built his palace at Aix-la-Chapelle [where there 
were warm baths], and lived there constantly during his 
latter years until his end. 

He was wont to wear his national, or Frankish, costume, — 
next to his skin a linen shirt and linen breeches, and above 
these a tunic fringed with silk; while hose fastened by 
bands covered his lower limbs, and shoes his feet, and he 
shielded his shoulders and chest in winter by a close fitting 
coat of otter or marten skins. Over all he east a blue cloak : 
always too he had a sword girt about him, usually one with 
a golden or silver hilt and baldric. Sometimes too he carried 
a jeweled sword, but only on great feast days, or at the 
reception of foreign envoys. He despised foreign costumes 
— no matter how elegant. Never did he suffer himself 
to wear them save twice, in Rome: when he put on the 
Roman tunic, chlamys^ and shoes. The first time he did 
this at the request of Pope Hadrian : the second time to 
please Leo, Hadrian's successor. On great festivals he used 
embroidered clothes, and shoes adorned with jewels : a 
golden buckle would fasten his cloak, and he would appear 
wearing a gem-set golden diadem. On other days however 
he dressed practically as did the ordinary [Frankish] 

Charles was temperate in eating, and particularly so in 
drinking. Drunkenness he abominated in anybody, much 
more in himself and in any one of his household.^ Yet he 
did not readily go hungry, and he often complained that 
"the fast-times hurt his health." Rarely did he give large 
entertainments, except on great feast days, but then to a 
large number of guests. 

* An outer cloak. 

^ Drunkenneas was a very serious and common failing among the Franks. 


While at table he listened to reading or music. The sub- 
jects of the reading were the stories and deeds of the olden 
time. St. Augustine's books too he liked, and especially the 
one called " The City of God." In summer after the mid- 
day meal he would eat some fruit, drink off a single cup, 
lay aside his clothes and shoes, just as at night, and for two 
or three hours take his rest. When he was dressing and 
putting on his shoes, not merely did he listen to his friends, 
but if the "Count of the Palace" reported any suit which 
needed his judgment, at once he would have the parties be- 
fore him, heard the case, and gave his decision just as if he 
were sitting on the judgment seat. [And any other neces- 
sary business he would thus attend to, at these times.] 

Charles had the gift of ready and fluent speech, and could 
express whatever he had to say with the uttermost clearness. 
He was not satisfied with command of his native tongue 
alone, but attempted the study of others, especially he gained 
such control of Latin that he spoke it as well as his own 
vernacular. Greek however he understood better than he 
could speak. He possessed such eloquence that he could 
actually pass for a teacher of oratory. Assiduously too did 
he cultivate the liberal arts. 

He held their teachers in great favor, and on them be- 
stowed high honors. The deacon Peter of Pisa, an aged 
man, gave him lessons in grammar.' Another deacon Alcuin 
[of England] who was the greatest scholar of his age, was 
his teacher in other learned subjects. The King devoted 
time and labor in abundance, studying with him rhetoric, 
dialectic and particularly astronomy. He learned to calcu- 
late, and was wont to investigate the movements of the 
heavens, with great intelligence. He also endeavored to 
[learn to] write, and was accustomed to keep tablets and 
[writing] blanks under his pillow on his bed, so that he 

1 Peter was teaching at Pavia in 774 a.d. when Charles, on taking the 
city, carried him off to teach at his palace. 


could get used to shaping the letters. But he began this at- 
tempt too late in life, and it met with poor success. 

He cherished with the greatest zeal and devotion the 
tenets of Christianity, as taught him from his youth. Hence 
it was he built the elegant basilica at Aix-la-Chapelle. He 
adorned it with gold and silver, also with lamps, likewise 
with rails and doors of solid brass. He had the columns 
and marbles used in it conveyed from Rome and Ravenna, 
for nowhere else could he find any more suitable. He was 
a constant worshiper at this church: he [seldom missed 
attending mass : and gave to both this church, those at Rome, 
and many others, most valuable treasures and gifts, and did 
all he could] to defend and protect the Church of St. Peter 
[at Rome] and to beautify and enrich it. 

147. The Waks of Charlemagne 
Eginhard, " Life of Charlemagne," V-Vm 

Most of Charlemagne's reign was consumed with wars in 
which he was usually victorious. He never had to confront a 
first-class enemy in battle, and his martial father aod grandfather 
had transmitted to him the well-trained Prankish army. He can- 
not therefore be called a distinguished general. His wars, how- 
ever, were of high importance for history ; especially the conquest 
of the Saxons and the Lombards implied the bringing of much of 
Germany and Italy into the circle of " The Holy Roman Empire," 
and of medieval civilization. 

After bringing a war in Aquitania to an end, he was per- 
suaded, by the prayers and promptings of Hadrian, Bishop 
of Rome, to undertake a war against the Lombards. Al- 
ready before him his father [Pepin] had assumed this task, 
at the asking of Pope Stephen, under great difficulties, for 
certain Prankish chiefs of his very council, had opposed the 
proposal so vehemently as to threaten to desert their King 
and go home. Notwithstanding, the war against Astolf, 


King of the Lombards, had been undertaken, and promptly 
brought to an issue. Now [773 a.d.J although Charles had 
similar, or rather precisely the same grounds for declaring 
■war that his father had, the war differed from the former 
both in its hardships and its results. 

Pepin, to be sure, after a brief siege of King Astolf in 
Pavia, had compelled him to give hostages, to restore to the 
people of Eome the cities and castles he had seized, and to 
swear that he would not try to take them again. Charles, 
however, did not turn back — once virar was declared — until 
he had exhausted KingDesidarius [Astolf's successor], by a 
prolonged siege ; then forced him to surrender uncon- 
ditionally. He also drove his son Adalgis, the last hope of 
the Lombards, not only from his kingdom [in the north], 
but from all Italy. He likewise restored to the Romans all 
they had lost ; crushed Henodgans, Duke of Friuli, who was 
scheming revolt; reduced all Italy to his sway, and- set 
his son Pepin over it. 

The war ended with the subjection of Italy, the banish- 
ment of King Desidarius for life, the expulsion of his son 
Adalgis from Italy and the restoration to Hadrian, Primate 
of the Koman Church, of all the conquests by the Lombard 

The Great Saxon War 

[As to the Saxon War] no war ever undertaken by the 
Franks was waged with such persistence and bitterness, 
or cost so much labor, because the Saxons, like almost all 
Germans, were a ferocious folk, given over to devil-worship, 
hostile to our Faith, and they did not consider it dishonor- 
able to transgress and violate all law — be it human or 
divine. Then, too, special circumstances caused a breach 
of the peace daily. [There was no well-defined frontier be- 
tween Saxony and Frankland, and continual border feuds 
were raging.J 


Accordingly, war was began against the Saxons and was 
waged furiously for thirty-three consecutive years [772- 
804] on the whole to the disadvantage of the Saxons. 
Much earlier surely it would have terminated but for the 
perfidy of the Saxons. It is hard to tell how often they 
were conquered, humbly submitted to the King and promised 
to do what was commanded, gave the required hostages 
and received the royal oflcers. Sometimes they were so 
abased that they promised to renounce " devil-worship " 
and adopt Christianity. Nevertheless, they were as prone 
to repudiate these terms as to accept them. It was actually 
impossible to tell which came easier for them to do. Hardly 
a year passed from the beginning of the war without such 
changes on their part. 

[The King, however, pressed them with unvarying pur- 
pose despite great difficulties] and either took the field 
against them himself, or sent his counts against them with 
a host to wreak vengeance and exact due satisfaction. 
[Many of the prisoners he settled as colonists in Gaul and 
the obedient parts of Germany.] The war that had lasted 
so many years at last terminated when the Saxons gave 
way to the terms proffered by the King; namely, the re- 
nunciation of their native religious cults' and devil-worship, 
the acceptance of the Christian sacraments, and union with 
the Franks into one people. 

The Saxon war began two years before the Italian war, 
but although it went on continuously, business elsewhere 
was not neglected, nor did the King hesitate to enter on 
other equally severe contests. Excelling, as he did, all the 
princes of his time in wisdom and magnanimity, he did not 
suffer difficulty to turn him back, nor danger to daunt him, 
from any task to be assumed or carried to a conclusion. 


148. How Chaelbmagne was crowned Emperor. 

Eginhard, " Life of Charlemagne," XXVni 

The Coronation of Charlemagne in 800 a.d. and the reestablish- 
ment in name at least of the Western Empire is usually considered as 
a cardinal point in history, the practical end of the Greco-Roman 
civilization, and the beginning of a new society on foundations 
largely Germanic. Of the occasion itself, it is said that Charle- 
magne afterwards asserted that if he had known what was about 
to befall, he would never have gone to St. Peter's Church. He was 
probably entirely willing to assume the imperial title, but foresaw 
the perils likely to arise from an emperor's reigning, not in his 
own right, but because of an apparent grant of the crown by the 

When Charlemagne made his last journey to Rome he 
had other ends [than mere piety] in view. The Romans 
had inflicted many injuries upon Pope Leo, tearing out his 
eyes and cutting out his tongue, so that he was compelled 
to summon help from the King. Therefore Charles repaired 
to Rome to regulate the sorely confused affairs of the 
Church ; and at Rome he passed the whole winter. Then 
it was he received the titles of " emperor " and " Augustus." 
[Christmas day 800 a.d.J To these titles he had such re- 
pugnance at first that he asserted that " he would not have 
set foot in the church the day they were conferred, although 
it was a great festival day [Christmas]," if he had surmised 
the intention of the Pope [then to crown him]. 

Very patiently he bore the jealousy of the [Eastern] 
Roman Emperors, which they showed when he assumed 
these titles ; for they took this step very ill ; and by means 
of repeated embassies and letters, in which he saluted them 
as his " Brothers " ; at length their haughty attitude yielded 
to his magnanimity — a quality in which he beyond doubt 
far surpassed them. 


149. Selections from the Great Capitulary of Charle- 
magne OF 802 A.D. 

Hendeison, " Select Historical Documents of the Middle Ages," book n, 
No. 2, pp. 189 ff. 

In 802 A.D. Charlemagne issued a great " Capitulary " (decree) 
covering a vast number of subjects. It is permeated by a mani- 
fest desire to establish truth, peace, and justice, and to foster the 
intellectual and spiritual advancement of both clergy and laity. 
The few selections here given will convey some idea of the spirit 
animating this high-minded monarch, representative as he was of 
both the German and the Roman. 

The most serene and noble Christian Emperor did choose 
from among his nobles the most prudent and the wisest 
men — archbishops as well as other bishops, and venerable 
abbots and pious laymen — and did send them over his 
whole kingdom and did grant through them, by means of 
all the following provisions, that men should live according 
to law and right. He did order them moreover, that, where 
anything is contained in the law that is otherwise than 
according to right and justice, they should inquire into this 
most diligently and make it known to him ; and he, God 
granting, hopes to better it. And let the [imperial] mes- 
sengers investigate diligently all cases where any .man 
claims that injustice has been done to him by any one, 
according as they themselves hope to retain the grace of 
omnipotent God. 

And he ordained that every man in his whole realm — 
priest or layman, each according to his vow and calling — 
who had previously promised fealty to him as Mng should 
now make this promise to him as emperor, and those who 
had hitherto not made this promise at all, down to those 
under 12 years of age, do likewise. 

TThis oath was to be understood not merely as promising 


to defend the emperor's life and to resist enemies or traitors, 
but other points also e.g.:'] 

Every one of his own accord should strive wholly to keep 
himself in the holy service of God according to the precept 
of God and to his own promise. 

[No one shall conceal any runaway slave of the em- 

No one shall presume through fraud to plunder or do any 
injury to the holy Churches of God, or to widows, orphans 
or strangers ; for the emperor himself, after God and his 
saints, has been constituted their protector and defender. 

No one dare to devastate a fief of the emperor or to take 
possession of it. 

No one shall presume to neglect a summons to arms of 
the emperor. 

No man shall make a practice of unjustly carrying on the 
defense of another in court ; whether from any cupidity, 
[the client] being no very great pleader, or in order by the 
cleverness of his defense, to impede a just judgment ; or, 
his case being a weak one, by a desire of oppressing. But 
each man with regard to his own case, or tax or debt, must 
carry on his own defense ; unless he be infirm, or ignorant 
of pleading [in which case the Imperial ofiicers must help 

[^Eules touching the conduct especially of the clergij.'] 

Bishops and priests should live according to the canons 
and should teach others to do likewise. They should not 
oppress [the laity] with severe and tyrannous rule, but 
should carefully guard the flock committed to them, with 
simple love, with mercy and charity, and by the example of 
good works. 

The abbots should live where the monks are, and wholly 
with the monks according to the rule : and they should 
diligently teach and observe the canons, and the abbesses 
shall do the same. 


[The bailiffs of great churchmen must be honest, and 
refrainers from oppression.] 

Bishops, abbots and abbesses and counts [i.e. lay magis- 
trates] shall be mutually in accord,^ agreeing in all charity 
and unity of peace, in wielding the law and in finding a right 
judgment. The poor, widows, orphans, and pilgrims shall 
have consolation and protection from them. 

Abbots and all monks shall be subject in all obedience to 
their bishops as the canons require. . . . 

Monasteries for women must be firmly ruled, and the nuns 
by no means permitted to wander about, but shall be kept in 
all diligence. [Strict measures shall be taken to prevent 
vice], drunkenness or cupidity, but in all things the nuns 
shall live soberly and justly. 

No bishops, abbots, priests, deacons, — no one in short 
belonging to the clergy, — shall presume to have hunting 
dogs ^ or hawks, falcons, or sparrow-hawks [and violators of 
this rule are to be unfrocked]. 

[After enjoining the penalty for many crimes the capitu- 
lary adds near its conclusion,] Let no one in our forests 
dare to rob our game, which we have already many times 
forbidden to be done. If any count or lower official of ours 
or any of our serving men shall have stolen our game he 
shall be brought into our presence and called to account. 
Any common man so offending shall compound for it to the 
full extent of the law, and by no means shall any leniency 
be extended. 

1 The dissensions of the magnates, especially between bishops and lay 
magistrates, had often been very serious. 

2 " Sporting clergymen," were frequent offenders in Franklsh days. 



Money in the Age of Augustus 

All values are highly approximate, and differ considerably from pre- 
ceding and later centuries. 

Sesterce [coined both in copper and silver] = 4 cents. 
Denarius [silver] = 16 cents. 
Aureus [gold] = about $5. 

Talent [silver money of account, a variable Oriental unit] 
= $1000 or more. 

Roman writers stated the ordinary money values usually in 
terms of sesterces, but sometimes as denarii. Before Augustus's 
day the Romans coined very little gold. 

Measukes of Capacity 
Cyathus = [\ pint. 
Sexlarius = 1 pint. 
Modius = 2 gallons. 

Measures of Length 

Roman foot = 11.65 English inches. 

Roman mile = 4854 English feet [i.e. about j'j less than an 
English mile.] 

Measure of Land Surface 
Jugerum = | acre. 



Where no translator Is named in the text the author of this hook 
is usually responsible for the translation given ; and in many other 
cases the original translation has been substantially recast. The 
titles of several books utilized have been omitted here as not readily 
obtainable by English readers. 

Ammianus Marcellinus : History. Bohn Library. London. 
Appian : Civil and Foreign Wars. Dr. Horace White's transla- 
tion. 2 vols. New York, 1899. 
Appuleius : Works. Bohn Library. London. 

Bury, J. B.: History of the Later Roman Empire, from Arcadius to 
Irene. 2 vols. London, 1889. 

Csesar : Commentaries. Bohn Library. London. 

Cassius Dio : History of Rome. H. B. Foster, translator. 5 vols. 

Troy, New York.i 
Cicero: Letters, etc. Shuckburgh's translation. 5 vols. London, 

Dill : Roman Society in the Last Century of the Roman Empire. 

London, 1899. 
Duruy: History of the Romans. 16 "halt" volumes. London. (See 

" Select List of Books.") 
Epictetus : Meditations, etc. Carter's translation, in Everyman's 

Library. London. (Satisfactory and inexpensive version.) 
Eusebius : Life of Constanlinc. Bagster's translation. London. 
Eutropius : Compendiumof Roman History. Bohn Library. London. 
Evagrius : Ecclesiastical History. Bohn Library. London. 
Heitland : The Roman Republic. 3 vols. London, 1910. 

' While this version of Casaius Dio has proved useful, the translations 
here given have been so substantially recast that the entire responsibility 
must be assumed by the author of this book. 



Henderson, B. W. : The Life and Principate of the Emperor Nero. 

London, 1903. 
Henderson : Select Historical Documents of the Middle Ages. Bohn 

Library. London. 
Horace : Poetical Works. Bohn Library. London. (Use has also 

been made of De Vere's translations of the Odes.) 
Jordanes : History of the Goths. Mierow's translation. Princeton, 

N.J., 1910. (Excellent and highly desirable version of a 

work hitherto inaccessible to English readers.) 
Juvenal : Satires. Bohn Library. London. 

Koran of Mohammed. Translated by Rodwell. 1871. Reprinted 
in Everyman's Library. London. (On the whole, the most 
intelligible translation for English readers. The old Sale 
version also is not without merit. Various modern translar 
tions, e.g. Palmer's, are too '.' scientific " to be useful save to 

Livy : History of Rome. Bohn Library. London.^ 

Lucian : Select Dialogues. Bohn Library. London. 

Marcus Aurelius : Meditations. Causabon's translation, Everyman's 
Library edition. London. (An old but good version : soma 
use has also been made of the translation by George Long.) 

Martial : Epigrams. Bohn Library. London. 

Mau: Pompeii. English edition from the German, by Kelsey. 
New York, 1902. 

Milne : Roman Egypt. London, 1898. 

Nepos, Cornelius : Lives. Bohn Library. London. 

Ovid: Fasti. Bohn Library. London. 

Petronius : Satyricon. Ryan's translation. London. 

Plautus : Comedies. Bohn Library. 2 vols. London. 

Pliny the Elder .• JVa;«raZffw<o»-y. Bohn Library. 2 vols. London. 

Pliny the Younger : Letters. Firth's translation. London. 

Plutarch : Lives of Illustrious Men. Dryden-Clough translation. 
4 vols. London and New York. (Many reprints.) 

1 Of relatively little use in preparing this book. Among the poorest of 
the Bohn translations. A good English version of Livy is sadly needed. 


Polybius : History. Shuckburgh's translation. 2 vols. London. 

Sallust : Historical Works. Bohn Library. London. 
Seneca : On Benefits, and Minor Works. Bohn Library. 2 vols. 

Sheppard, The Fall of Rome. London. 
Sozomen: Ecclesiastical History. Bohn Library. London. 
Statius : Poems. Slater's translation. Oxford, 1908. (A good 

and recent translation.) 
Strabo: Geography. Bohn Library. 3 vols. London. 
Suetonius : Lives of the Twelve Caesars. Bohn Library. London. 

(Among the most satisfactory of the older Bohn translations.) 
Tacitus : Works. Translated by Church and Broadrib. 3 vols. 

London, 1877. (Use has been also made of the Bohn version, 

which is better tor Tacitus than usual.) 
Theodoret: Ecclesiastical History. Bohn Library. London. 
University of Pennsylvania Historical Reprints. A series of pam- 
phlets issued by the History Department. Philadelphia, 1898. 

(Excerpts here printed by kind permission.) 
Velleius Paterculus : History of Rome. Bohn Library. London. 
Vergil : Mneid. Ballard's translation. Boston, 1903. (Extract 

here printed by translator's kind permission.) 
Vinogradoff, Paul : Roman Law in Medieval Europe. London, 1909. 
Workman, H. B. : Persecution in the Early Church. London, 1906. 

(Contains many valuable excerpts from early Christian 



No attempt is here made to prepare a complete list of all worthy 
books on Roman Histoiy. The works named are merely those most 
likely to appeal to the inexperienced student, and no hook is men- 
tioned which has not been examined in its entirety with this end in 
view. A great many important essays, the appreciation whereof 
would call for considerable previous knowledge, have been omitted. 
On numerous topics the best treatises in English are inferior to those 
in French and in German. 

General Histories. 

Duruy, Victor : History of Borne. Translated from the French. 
8 vols., each in two parts. London and Boston, 1884. (Out 
of print, but can be purchased second hand for about 140.00 ; 
a cheaper edition sometimes for less.) 

This is practically the only large work that covers the 
whole scope of Roman history from the founding of the city 
to the eve of the fall of the Empire. It is the product of 
distinguished French scholarship, and while here and there 
it stands in need of correction, in the main it is a safe as well 
as an inspiring guide. The work is profusely illustrated. The 
portion dealing with the Empire is on the whole decidedly 
better than that dealing with the Republic. 

Merivale, Charles : History of Borne. American Book Company, 
1877. 11.25. (Also in the cheap Everyman's Library, 
Button. ) 
' Published some years ago, and still of considerable value. 

It is a straightforward narrative of the rise and fall of Rome, 
with nonessentials omitted, and important things empha- 
sized. It is the only history of Rome in a single volume that 
rises above the rank of the mere text-book. 

The Roman Republic. 

Mommsen, Theodor : History of Borne (to the time of Csesar). 
Translated from the German. 5 vols, (an old edition in 4). 
Scribner's, 1905. $10.00. 
A remarkable book by a remarkable German scholar. So 


completely have the theories of this work been accepted that 
until recently it has been almost heresy for historians to differ 
from Mommsen in the slightest particular. To-day some of 
his theories are subject to questioning, but in the main the 
work stands intact. The reconstruction of early Eoman 
institutions is remarkably ingenious. No seriously minded 
scholar of Roman history should fail to read the entire work. 

Heitland, W. E. ; The Roman Bepublic (to the death of Csesar). 
3 vols. The Cambridge Press, 1909. flO.OO. (Also a good 
abridgment in one volume. The Cambridge Press, 1911.) 

A recent English work, summing up the best products of 
modern investigation. The narrative is easy, the judgments 
well poised, and the author has shown a happy tendency to 
reject the often crude and ill-considered attempts of the Ger- 
man followers of Mommsen to elaborate upon the work of 
their master. While not of the epoch-making class with 
Mommseh's history, to the inexperienced student Heitland 
is likely to be far more helpful, merely because it is less 
learnedly ingenious. 

How, W. W., and Leigh, H. D. ; History of Some. Longmans, 
1907. $2.00. 

Shackbuigb, 'E. : History of Borne. Macmillan, 1894. |1.75. 

These are both well written single volume histories of the 
Romans down to the fall of the Republic, That by Shuck- 
burgh ia more purely narrative, and a recasting of the stories 
in the ancient historians j that by How and Leigh is really a 
clever abridgment of Mommsen, and more purely constitu- 
tional. Either is highly useful to a scholar, although How and 
Leigh is a little better adapted for the student. 

Taylor, T M.. : Constitutional and Political History of Bo'me. 
Methuen, London, 1899. About |2.00. 

Extends to the reign of Domitian, thus giving a view of 
the early Empire. A well written and relatively up-to-date 
manual of the subjects named in the title. 

Granrud, J. E. : Soman Constitutional History. AUyn and 
Bacon, 1902. $1.25. 

An accurate little history, covering the salient points down 
to the fall of the Roman Republic. Based upon the recent 
investigations on many debatable matters. 


T1%e Roman Empire. 

Merivale, C. . History of the Romans under the Empire. 8 vols, 
(sometimes bound in 4). Longmans, 1890. 110.00 (6 vols. 
Appleton's, §12.00). 

The most extensive piece of work on tlie early Empire in 
the English language, covering from the time of Sulla to the 
death of Marcus Aurelius. Despite the fact that it was 
written before use could be made of much inscriptional evi- 
dence recently discovered, the scholarship is in the main 
sound, and the conclusions may be safely followed. The 
chapters on the reigns of Tiberius, Claudius, and Nero are 
very good indeed. On the whole, however, the second half' 
of Duruy's masterly work is slightly superior. 

Bury, J. B. : The Roman Empire (to 180 a.d.). American Book 
Company. |1.50. 

This single volume by a great English scholar covers prac- 
tically the same ground as Merivale (it begins with 31 a.d.), 
The narrative is not so easy and readable as the author's 
History of Greece, but the book is eminently useful to the 
average student, and it Is highly unfortunate that it is not 
continued beyond the point where the Empire begins its 

Jones, H. S. : The Story of the Roman Empire. Putnam's, 1908. 

A clearly written sketch of the stoiy of the Caesars, from 
Augustus to the downfall. The scholarship is recent and 
excellent, but the slender proportions of the book prevent 
it from being a final word on the subjeot.i 

Gibbon, Edward : Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. 
Many editions, the most valuable being edited by Bury, with 
desirable notes, and published in 7 vols, by Macmillan. .f 14.00. 
This is the most important historical work in the English lan- 
guage, perhaps in any language. Written in the eighteenth 
century, it ias never been superseded. In inimitable stately 
Johnsonian prose it tells the story of the slow crumbling of 

lA still briefer treatment of the subject is by the author of these 
" Readings " - An Outline History of the Roman Empire : Macmillan, 
1909. 65 cents. In it especial stress is laid on the political history. 


the old Empire from the death of Marcus Aurelius to the 
capture of Constantinople by the Turks. Incidentally a 
great deal of strictly Medieval history is dealt with. Here 
and there recent investigators have been able to correct 
Gibbon, or to amplify him, but in the main his work is sur- 
prisingly accurate. Two serious criticisms only have to be 
made : 1. Scholars are agreed he took an erroneously un- 
favorable view of the later Roman Empire at Constantinople ; 
2. He was tinctured by a most obvious prejudice against 
Christianity which he knew only in its unspiritual eighteenth- 
century garb. But the needful deductions are easily made, 
and the work remains a prime essential to every scholar. 

Topics Connected with Roman History. 

AXiihoit,'^. 'P.. Boman Political Institutions. Ginn and Company, 
1907. $1.60. 

An excellent handbook describing the officials and general 
government of Rome both under the Republic and the Empire. 
There is besides a good outline of Roman constitutional 
history, also abundant references to ancient and modern 
authorities. A useful book to any student. 

Ramsay, Wm., and Lanciani, R. -. Manual of Boman Antiquities. 
Scrlbner's, 1896. $3.00. 

A rather old book fairly brought up to date. Practically 
every subject of Roman antiquities is covered in it, and in a 
way making the information very accessible. A most desirable 
reference book. 

Sandys, John E. : A Companion to Latin Studies. Cambridge 
Press, 1910. §6.00. 

Corresponds in aim and effectiveness to Whibley's Com- 
panion to Greek Studies (see note thereon, Vol. I, p. 349). 
Almost every topic likely to interest a student in Roman 
history has been handled in admirable articles by experts. 
An invaluable book. 

Arnold, W. T.: Boman Provincial Administration. Stechert, 
1905: also Maomillan. 

A notable monograph on a very important subject. There 
is no better treatment anywhere, of how the Romans con- 
trolled their vast Empire. 


Botsford, G. W.: Roman Public Assemblies. Macmillan, 1909. 

The most important work on Roman history ever written 
by an American. The whole problem of the Roman Comitia, 
how they affected the course of Roman history, their compo- 
sition, their influence and ultimate decadence is taken up 
skillfully, and at some points the author has overthrown the 
long-accepted conclusions of Mommsen. The work is for 
scholars, however, and not for the merely casual reader. 

Bailey, Cyril : TTie Beligion of Ancient Borne. Open Court Pub- 
lishing Company, 1907. 40 cents. 

A decidedly short, but highly illuminating discussion of the 
early Roman religion, which scholars are now realizing was 
entirely dissimilar from the Greek. 

Plainer, S. B.: Topography and Monuments of Ancient Home. 
AUyn and Bacon, 1911. 13.00. 

The best and most recent work in English on the city of 
Rome in antiquity. , 

Dill, S.: Roman Society from Nero to Marcus Aurelius. Mac- 
millan, 1904. §2.50. — Roman Society in the Last Century 
of the Western Empire. Macmillan, 1899. $2.00. 

Admirable discussions of the respective periods they cover. 
They are particularly good as explaining the transition in 
life, thought, and religion, which prepared the way for 

Fellisson, M. : Roman Life in Pliny's Time. Jacobs, 1901. $1.00. 

Preston, N. W., and Dodge, L. : Private Life of the Romans. 
Leach, Boston, 1893. 11.00. 

Thomas, E.: Roman Life under the Coesars. Putnam's, 1899. 

These are all convenient books, presenting in somewhat 
similar manner the salient phases of Roman private life.i 

1 The author of the present volume has attempted his own contribution 
to the study of Roman life in The Influence of Wealth in Imperial Rome, 
MaomiUan, 1910. $2.00. In this book such questions as the commerce, 
economic life, public benefactions, slave system, luxury, etc., of the 
Romans, are considered. 


FriedlsndeT, L. : Moman Life and Manners under the Early 
Empire. 4 vols. Dutton and Company. $6.00. 

A translation of a masterly, exhaustive, and illuminating 
German work. It has long been the standard work on the 

Fowler, W. W.: Social Life at Home in the Age of Cicero. 
Macraillan, 1909. $2.26. 
Interesting pictures of life in the days of Cicero and Caesar. 

Becker, W. A.: Gallus; or Roman Scenes in the Days of Augus- 
tus. Longmans, 1903. $1.25. 

A somewhat wooden novel, yet nevertheless conveying a 
vast deal of information ; hut the valuable part of the work is 
the Appendix, which really is an elaborate treatise on Roman 
private life. 

Periods of Roman History and Biographies. 
Ihne, Wm. ; Early Borne. Longmans. 
Smith, R. B. : Rome and Carthage. Longmans. 
Beesly, A. H. : The Gracchi, Marius and Sulla. Longmans. 
Merivale, C: The Roman Triumvirates. Longmans. 

Capes, W. W. : The Early Moman Empire. Longmans. — The 
Age of the Antonines. Longmans. [All $1.00 each.] 

These are small handy books in the "Epochs of History " 
Series. All are good and useful, but especially the last two, 
which together constitute a clear and concise account of the 
great age of the Empire. 

Ferrero, G. : 77ie Greatness and Decline of Rome. 5 vols. Put- 
nam's, 1907-1909. $12.50. 

No work dealing with Roman history has created so great 
a stir in recent times as this. The author is a well-known 
Italian scholar, and the work has been satisfactorily translated. 
The promise of the title is hardly borne out by the volumes 
so far published ; they merely begin with the decline of the 
Republic, and end with the death of Augustus. The style 
is fascinating, and the conclusions frequently so aptly put 
that the reader is tempted to accept them without sifting the 
author's evidence. Signer Ferrero is no great admirer of 
Julius Csesar, he believes there was little or no romance 


between Antony and Cleopatra, he takes a most unusual view 
of the prinoipate of Augustus. These are only samples of his 
radical attitude. Everywhere great stress is laid upon the 
economic factor as determining the course of history. But 
the work is almost hopelessly subjective. In no other exten- 
sive modern work is the author's own surmise so often put 
forward as serious history. A great many of the statements 
that seem so revolutionary are really without valid authority 
either ancient or modern. The result is that the set is not a 
safe guide to the inexperienced student : to the advanced 
student, however, who is able to check up the evidence, it is 
highly stimulating, and occasionally informing. 

Long, George : Decline of the Roman Republic. 6 vols. London, 
1864-1874. Out of print. 

A standard work, of sound and accurate scholarship and 
judgment, but rendered repellent to most readers by an almost 
deliberately heavy style, and the elimination of every literary 
quality except that of clearness. 

Dodge, T. A.: Hannibal. Houghton, Mifflin, 1891. |5.00. — 
CcBsar. Houghton, Mifflin, 1892. 

Exhaustive and well-written biographies of these great 
men, considering them, however, almost entirely from the 
military point of view. As a result, the volume on Csesar is 
decidedly incomplete for a student of political history : as a, 
picture of the great captain's campaigns, however, it is excel- 
lent. The life of Hannibal is also very good. 

Froude, James A. . Ccesar, A Sketch. Harper's, 1895. 60 cents. 
The mere name of the author suggests controversy, and 
this book has been subject to violent attack. Part of the 
strife, however, has really arisen out of the fierce personal 
animosities that have rent English literary circles. This 
book is not blameless, but its virtues far outweigh its defects. 
It takes an excessively favorable view of Csesar, and an un- 
favorable view of Cicero, but most historical students to-day 
concur in its general attitude. The method of handling the 
evidence is not absolutely critical. On the other hand, the 
book is written with a verve and a literary vivacity that 
make it a joy to read. It is highly interesting without 
ceasing to be dignified. It can be read with the same avidity 


one can read a novel. For a person just beginning the 
study of Roman liistory, tliere is no volume more likely to 
give him a taste for the subject than this. 

Henderson, B. W. ; Life and Principate of the Emperor Nero. 
Lippincott's, 1903. $3.00. 

An attempt, not entirely successful, to explain away some 
of the worst iniquities of its very unworthy subject, and to 
make out that Nero, if not an agreeable personage in his 
private life, was at least an able ruler. The book is plausible 
enough to be worth reading, although it is an advocate's plea 
in behalf of an all but confessed criminal. 

Forsyth, Wm. : Cicero. Scribner's, 1869. IJ2.50. 

The standard life of the great orator, — sound, scholarly, 
and not unduly laudatory. 

Strachan-Davidson, J. L. : Cicero. " Heroes of the Nations " 
Series. Putnam's, 1891. Sgl.SO. 

Warde-Fowler, W. : Julius Caesar. Putnam's, 1892. $1.50. 

Firth, J. B. : Augustus CcBsar. Putnam's, 1903. $1.35. 

Gardiner ; Julian the Philosopher. Putnam's, 1895. -^l.SO. 

Firth, J. B. : Constantine the Great. Putnam's, 1905. $1.35. 

These are all worthy biographies in a well-known and on the 
whole excellent series. The one by J. B. Firth on Augustus 
Csesar is a valuable account of the building of the Empire 
by the great successor of the great Julius : the other volumes 
are also useful. 

Watson, P. B. : Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. Harper's, 1884. 
(Out of print.) 

A somewhat discursive biography of the noblest though 
not the ablest ruler in the whole Imperial line. 

The Period from 395 to 800 A.D. 

Gibbon : The Soman Empire. (See entry on page 387.) 

Bury, J. B. ; The Later Itoman Empire at Constantinople. 2 vols. 
MacmlUan, 1889. $0.00. 

The standard work on the subject. Written with a just 
appreciation of the great work the East Romans did for 


Oman, C. . The Story of the Byzantine Empire. Putnam's, $1.50. 
This is an excellent short sketch of the Empire of Constan- 
tinople, and the reading of it will prove an excellent antidote 
to the false estimate Gibbon gives to the later Roman Empire. 

Finlay, G. : Greece under the Romans. Everyman's Series. But- 
ton. 35 cents. 

This is the first vuliuuc of a standard history of Greece 
since the Roman conquest. Though written many years ago, 
it is still of very liigh value. It deals more with the condition 
of the subject Greek peoples, especially from the time of 
Constantine onward, than with the doings of Emperors. 

The Moham/medans} 

Gilman, Arthur : The Story of the Saracens. Putnam's, 1887. 

A good readable popular account of the rise and decline 
of the Empire of the Arabs. 

Amir All : History of the Saracens. MacmiUan, 1900. (Out of 

A most interesting attempt by an educated Mohammedan 
to tell from a sympathetic standpoint the story of the rise of 
Islam and to explain away the prejudices of Western readers. 
In the main the work has been well done, and the attempt 
has been measurably successful. 

Muir, Sir Wm. : Mohammed. Scribner's (English edition, 1894) . 
■$6.40. The standard scholarly life of the founder of Islam. 

The Church.^ 

Milman, H. H. . Latin Christianity. 8 vols, in 4. Doran (form- 
erly Armstrong), 1872. .$6.00. 

A standard scholarly account of the rise and greatness of 
the Western church as centered about the Papacy. 

1 The account given by Gibbon of the rise and progress of Mohammed 
and his followers is justly celebrated. Gibbon's prejudice against Chris- 
tianity led him to take extra pains to apologize for Islam. 

i" A compact, readable, and unbiased history of the rise of the Christian 
Church — telling the story in unteehnical language for general readers — 
is entirely lacking. Only a very few of the vast number of special titles 
on the subject are here given. 


Robertson, J. C. : History of the Christian Church. 8 vols. 
Young Churchman Co., 1875. $12.00. 

This is the best extensive history of Christianity, — at least 
from the Protestant standpoint. It has the great merit of 
avoiding for the most part unprofitable ecclesiastical and 
doctrinal details, and the narrative is readable. It carries 
the story from the founding of the church down to the age 
of Martin Luther. 

Smith, Philip: Ecclesiastical History (to 1000 a. d.). American 
Book Company, 1888. $1.50. 

A fairly satisfactory attempt at a short history of the 
progress of Christianity. It is mainly an abridgment of 

Stanley, Arthur : Lectures on the Eastern Church. " Everyman's 
Library," Button. 36 cents. 

Charming and informing lectures on the Christianity of the 
East, — the council of Nicaea, etc. 

Alzog, J. : Church History. 3 vols. Robert Clark and Company, 
1874-1878. $10.00. 

On the whole, the best history giving the story of the 
church from the Catholic point of view. 

The Barbarians and the Frankish Kingdom} 

Hodgkln, T. : Italy and Her Invaders. 8 vols. Clarendon Press, 
1885-1899. $36.50. 

This work, covering the story of the invasions of Italy and 
incidentally of the rise of the Ostrogothic, Lombard, and 
Frankish kingdoms (down to Charlemagne), is a narrative 
of first-class importance to every English reader. The criti- 
cism that the author has borrowed rather copiously from the 
German historian Dahn is probably well founded, but the 
fact remains that the work is a monument of well-applied 
learning, and the story is well told, though at points diffuse. 

1 For the Barbarian Invasions and the new kingdoms which the Grer- 
mans founded, Gibbon is of high value : also there are very useful 
chapters on the Frankish monarchy, etc., in the well-known histories of 
France by Guizot, Kitchen, Michelet, and others. The first volume of the 
Cambridge Medieval History (Macmillan, 1912, $5.00) possesses great 
importance to every student. 


It U unfortunate that the work is not published in a cheaper 

Hodgkin, T. : Charles the Great. MacmiUan, 1897. 76 cents. 

A well-written biography of the mighty Emperor, by the 
author last mentioned. Thoroughly useful to the inexpe- 
rienced student. 

Kingsley, Charles : The Roman and the Teuton. Macmillan, 
1864. $1.25. 

Famous lectures by a famous writer on the downfall of the 
Empire and the rise of the new nationalities. The treatment 
of the later Romans is not always fair, and the German in- 
vaders are somewhat overglorified, but in the main the book 
is excellent, and preeminently entertaining. 

Emerton, Ephraim : Introduction to the Middle Ages. Ginn, 
1888. 11.12. 

The work of a distinguished American scholar. It is by 
all odds the best sketch we possess of the early Middle Ages. 
Although written as a text-book it can be read with interest 
merely for its narrative qualities. 

Sergeant, L. : The Story of the Franks. Putnam's, 1898. 11.50. 
A good account of the only one of the Barbarian invaders 
that founded a permanent dominion in continental Europe. 

Mombert, J. I. ; Charles the Great. Appleton's, 1888. $5.00. 
This is the standard biography of the personage usually 
known as "Charlemagne," and on the whole meets every 
fair requirement. It is much fuller than Hodgkin's sketch. 


In this list are included brief notices of most of the regular Greek 
and Latin authors from whose works excerpts have been taken, but no 
attempt has been made to include various obscure Christian chroniclers, 
or to trace the authorships of Oriental inscriptions, etc. Many famous 
writers are not mentioned because no quotations are made from their 

Ammianus Marcellinus (died about 390 a.d.). A native of Antioch. 
Served in the Roman Imperial bodyguard, but presently re- 
tired from the army, and wrote a history that is (so far as the 
work is preserved) one of our best authorities for the age just 
before the fall of the Empire. The books remaining to us 
cover 353 to 378 a.d. He was not the master of a good style, 
but his story is accurate, faithful, and impartial. Often in 
his writings is displayed a hatred of the shallow artificial life 
of his age, a spirit quite worthy of a bluff old soldier. 

Appian (an Alexandrian Greek who lived at Rome during the 
reigns of Trajan, Hadrian, and Antoninus Pius). He seems 
to have been an advocate of some consequence, well acquainted 
with public affairs. His history of the Wars of Rome is ex- 
tremely unoriginal, but is clearly written, and possesses the 
great advantage for us of being compiled from reliable con- 
temporary authors whose writings are now lost. 

Appuleius (born about 130 a.d.). A native of Africa who traveled 
extensively in the Roman world, and studied the Platonic 
philosophy at Athens. His writings I'eflect pretty clearly what 
passed for learning and wisdom in his age. He was the author 
of a curious kind of romance — The Golden Ass. 

Cxsar (100 to 44 B.C.). Julius Csesar is, of course, one of the lead- 
ing figures in history, and only secondarily a man of letters. 
Yet he was counted among the leading Roman orators, barring 
only Cicero, and his literary productions are of remarkable 
merit. In his Commentaries on the Civil War, while no doubt 
he suppresses facts unfavorable to his own cause, he is never- 


theless in most instances excellently informed, and certainly 
he tries hard to convey the impression of being impartial. 

Cassius Dio (often called Dion Cassius: born 155 a.d., died about 
230 A.D.). He was a Bithynian who rose to the consulship, 
.and held various other high offices, especially under Alexander 
Severus. He wrote, in Greek, a history of Rome from the 
coming of jEneas down to 229 a.d. Much of this large work 
is lost, although we possess an inferior abridgment of nearly 
the whole. The history is of high value, especially for the 
period of the Empire. Cassius Dio was well acquainted with 
the routine of the imperial government, and able to describe 
political movements clearly, although he was by no means a 
perfect master of a good literary style. 

Cicero. Quintus Cicero (102 to 43 b.c.) was a polite literary gen- 
tleman, the feebler image of his famous brother Marcus. He 
rose to the praetorship, and the interesting tract on the " Can- 
didacy for the Consulship " is attributed to him. 

Eginhard, or Einhard (about 770 to 850 a.d.). He was the secre- 
tary and intimate friend of Charlemagne, and held many im- 
portant church benefices. His fame rests upon his authorship 
of The Life of Charlemagne — ■' which is generally regarded as 
the most important historical work of a biographical nature, 
that has come down to us from the Middle Ages." 

Epictetus (lived from reign of Nero to Hadrian). A slave, and 
later a freedman, who became one of the most famous masters 
of the later school of Stoics. The Discourses and Handbook 
which we have as his, are the compilations of his faithful pupil 
Arrian, the historian. Epictetus's gospel may be summed up 
in the words suffer and abstain, i.e. man should endure all 
things with noble calmness, confident that a benevolent Provi- 
dence is ruling everything for an ultimate good end. He 
was one of the " inspired Pagans " who accomplished an almost 
indispensable work in preparing the world for the final tri- 
umph of Christianity. 

Euseblus (about 264 a.d. to about 340 a.d.). A learned Christian 
writer, who was bishop of Csesarea, and an intimate friend of 
Constantine the Great. He was the author of an important 


Chronology, a Life of Constantine (extremely eulogistic), and 
an Ecclesiastical History, which Ls an invaluable repository of 
information about the church during the period of its growth 
and of its rise to equality with Paganism. 

Eutropius (latter part fourth century a.d.). He wrote a concise. and 
clear Epitome of Roman History from the founding of the city 
down to 364 a.d. It shows little original research, but is fre- 
quently useful, especially for the history of the Empire. 

Evagrius (536 to about 600 a.d.). A Christian Syrian, who wrote 
an Ecclesiastical History which gives much information as to 
events in the church — and occasionally as to secular matters 
— between the years 431 and 593 a.d. It is on the whole 
superior, in accuracy and style, to most histories prepared by 
churchmen in his age. 

Gregory of Tours (540 to 595 a.d.). A learned bishop who kept 
alive something of the old Gallo-Roman traditions of culture 
during the wrack and ruin of the Merovingian Prankish 
period. His Annals of the Franks are our main authority for 
the story of the deeds of Clovis and of his evil sons. Gregory 
delineates with unsparing ' hand the iniquities of his age, 
although he has a marked tendency to excuse the crimes of 
Clovis and other kings in view of their " Christian Orthodoxy." 

Herodianus (late second and early third centuries a.d.). The 
author of a history in Greek of the Roman Emperors from 180 
to 238 a.d. Very little is known of him personally. 

Horace (65 to 8 B.C.). Quintus Horatius Flaccus was probably the 
most distinguished of the Latin poets save only Vergil. He 
was a native of Venusia in Apulia, but passed most of his life 
at Rome, where the patronage of Msecenas — Augustus's 
prime councilor — gave him a fortune and a distinguished 
audience. Horace was preeminently "the gentleman in the 
world." He had abundant common sense, wisdom, and a quick 
observation of the shams and the true pleasures of life : an 
admirable and typical versifier for the practical Romans. He 
never reached the loftiest heights of poetry, but few lyricists 
have appealed to larger audiences, across longer ages than he. 


Probably no Latin -writer surpassed Horace in the delicacy and 
felicity of his language. 

Inscriptions. See Note in Vol. I, page 356. 

Jordanes, or Jornandes (lived in sixth century a.d., dui ing the rSgn 
of Justinian). He was a Goth, who finally became a bishop 
in Italy. His most valuable history is the book Upon the 
Origin and- Deeds of the Goths. In it we find the old traditions 
of his people, as well as an uncritical account, often very prej- 
udiced in favor of the Goths, of the conquests of Alaric, 
Theodoric, etc. With aU its failings, however, the work has 
a marked value. 

Juvenal (about 60 to 130 a.d.). He was the greatest of the Latin 
satirical poets ; perhaps the greatest poet, for his own peculiar 
field, of all time. He knew to a nicety the vices and foibles of 
the Rome of Domitian and Trajan, and he declaims against 
them with the fury of a Hebrew prophet, mingled, however, 
with much wit and wisdom of a kind that almost makes him 
seem a " modern " writer. His humor has been likened to 
that of certain American authors — notably Mark Twain. 
His sixteen Satires are therefore a precious literary treasure, 
although their effective translation is by no means easy. It 
ought to be said, however, that Juvenal is prone to exaggerate 
— to lay undue emphasis upon things evil, and to ignore the 
good that undoubtedly existed in the Rome of his tim.e. 

Livy (59 b.c. to 17 a.d.). Titus Livius a native of Patavium 
(Padua) is by all odds the leading historian for the Roman 
Republican period. His entire history in 142 books extended 
from the foundation of Rome down to 9 b.c. Most unfor- 
tunately we possess only 35 of these intact, although Epitomes 
have been preserved of most of the others. A critical and 
scrupulously impartial historian Livy was not. He often 
gives us myths that have obviously no factual value, and 
again he suppresses or colors such evidence as reflects upon the 
glory of Rome. On the other hand, his style is "clear, ani- 
mated, and eloquent," and often under the legends a little 
sifting will bring out valuable data; while no Roman who 
had read through his long narrative could fail to gain a clear 


grasp upon the long slow process of war and patriotic sacri- 
fice by which the little city by the Tiber rose to world-wide 

Lucian (active in reign of Marcus Aurelius). A Greek of north- 
ern Syria who was first a lawyer at Antioch, then traveled 
through Greece teaching rhetoric, and later entered the gov- 
ernmental service in Egypt. His Dialogues are among the 
shrewdest, keenest writings of all antiquity. He thrusts the 
knife of sarcasm into almost all the honored conventionalities 
of the artificial society of the second century a.d. Some of 
his scenes are irresistibly comic, and all are witty. 

Lucretius (95 b.c. to about 52 B.C.). A Roman Epicurean, whose 
poem in defense of the Epicurean philosophy (De Rerum 
Nalura) is a really noble, readable, and poetical attempt to 
expound and apologize for a very unworthy system of conduct 
and ethics. It is one of the most commendable pieces of 
Latin verse. 

Marcus Aurelius (121 to 180 a.d.). He was perhaps the noblest 
personality who ever sat upon the .throne of the Csesars, al- 
though not the ablest in mere governmental ability. He was 
a Stoic philosopher who endeavored faithfully to carry his stern 
high doctrines with him into the palace or camp. His Medi- 
tations — written in Greek — are an excellent presentation 
of the Stoic ideal, and are incidentally by far the best book 
ever written by a reigning monarch. 

Martial (43 to about 104 a.d.). A Romanized Spaniard, who spent 
most of his career at Rome. His Epigrams are a precious 
collection of keen and witty comment upon all the mazes of 
society at the metropolis ; the poems are defiled by frequent 
impurities, but no student of the life of the Empire can dis- 
pense with the light they cast on innumerable subjects. 

Ovid (43 B.C. to 18 a.d.). A clever and versatile Latin poet, of 
much talent and little real genius. His Metamorphoses pre- 
serve to us in their most accepted form the standard stories of 
Greek mythology, as conventionalized by the first century 
A.D., but of greater historical value is his Fasti — a sort of 
Roman calendar in verse, describing the various old Latin 


festivals, the rites proper for each, etc. Only half of this 
interesting work has been preserved. 

Petronius (age of Nero). He was an unprincipled but elegant 
and clever companion of Nero, for a while a kind of ' master- 
of-the-revels ' (^Elegantim arbiter) of that evil Csesar's court. 
He committed suicide on losing the imperial favor. To him 
is commonly attributed the Satyricon, a kind of comic romance, 
often disgustingly coarse, but written with a lively wit and a 
cynical insight into all the follies and iniquities of the age. 
" Trimalchio's Dinner" forms an important episode in the 

Plautus (about 254 to 184 b.c). An Umbrian, who after a varied 
career at Rome undertook to eke out a living by preparing 
comedies for stage managers. In this way he presently gained 
fame and a competence. Twenty of his plays have been pre- 
served : they all seem to be founded upon Greek models, but 
he took greater liberties in adapting them than the rival 
comedian Terence, and as a rule we may feel we are given 
the Roman atmosphere of about 200 B.C. 

Pliny the Elder (23 to 79 a.d.). He was a distinguished Roman 
official, and at the time of his death he was admiral of the 
fleet at Misenum (he perished during the famous eruption of 
Mt. Vesuvius). His fame rests upon his Natural History, a 
vast compendium in 37 books, containing an enormous deal 
of varied learning and pseudo-learning, often on historical 
subjects. The work is very ill arranged, and lacks critical 
sifting, but to it we owe many of the most interesting items 
and anecdotes of ancient history. 

Pliny the Younger (about 61 a.d. to about 114 a.d.). Nephew and 
adopted son of the preceding. He held various high gov- 
ernmental posts, e.g. the consulship and governorship of 
Bithynia, and claimed the personal friendship of Trajan. 
He was the author of a series of Letters, which, although 
tainted by a certain artificiality, are, on the whole, the clearest 
and most informing documents we have as to life among the 
polite leisured classes at Rome about 100 a.d. Judging from 
the tone of the letters, Pliny was an affectionate husband, a 


kindly master to his servants, and a genial friend : a good 
example of the best in the old society. 

Plutarch. See Biographical Note in Vol. I, page 358. 

Polybius (about 20i to about 122 B.C.). A Greek nobleman of 
Megalopolis, who, after taking a leading part in the doings of 
the Achaean League, was banished to Italy by the Romans in 
168 B.C. In 151 B.C. he was released, but in the interval he 
had won the friendship of the younger Scipio and was present 
with him at the fall of Carthage. Later he used his influence 
to mitigate the lot of the Greeks after the destruction of 
Corinth. Polybius undertook in a long history to explain to 
his countrymen how it was the Romans were able to conquer 
them, and to explain the secrets of Roman greatness. His 
work begins with the outbreak of the First Punic War. His 
sources of information were ample, and he had a critical 
faculty and power of philosophic grasp rare in ancient writers. 
His literary execution is not correspondingly excellent, but his 
history perhaps — next to Thucydides's — comes nearest of 
all from Antiquity to satisfying the demands of modern 
scholarship. It is a great misfortune that the larger part of 
it is lost. 

Prudentius (about 348 to 410 a.d.). A poet who has been called 
" the Horace and Vergil of the Christians." Little is known 
about his life. He seems to have held high civil offices under 
Theodosius and Honorius, but late in life he became weary of 
■worldly honor and turned himself strictly to religion. His 
religious hymns and versified expositions of Christian doc- 
trines often show very high poetic qualities. 

Rutilius Numantianus (wrote about 417 a.d.). A Gaul, who held 
the city prsefectship at Rome about 413 a.d. He described 
his return to Gaul in a rather long poem, Upon the Return. 
He was a Pagan with little love for Christianity, but he cele- 
brates the praises of old Rome with a truly poetic and admi- 
rable fervor. 

Sallust (86 B.C. to 34 b.c). A Roman politician, who, after a de- 
cidedly chequered career, threw in his lot with Caesar and 
served with him during the Civil War. As governor of Nu- 


midia he was charged with gross extortions. Of his historical 
writings we still have his Catilina, and his Jugurthine War. 
These short essays are too rhetorical and often strain the 
truth for the sake of the literary effect; but they form im- 
portant links in Roman annals. 

Seneca (about 5 B.C. to 65 a.d.). He was born in Spain, of anoble 
Roman family there settled. After he had won fame as a 
pleader at Rome, Claudius banished him to Corsica, but Agrip- 
pina had him recalled, and as tutor of young Nero he was 
for a while the most influential man in the government, until 
Nero degenerated. Seneca then retired from office, and was 
presently put to death on suspicion of conspiracy. Seneca was 
the author of treatises on the Stoic philosophy in which he 
set forth a severe and noble doctrine, — almost unattainable 
by human virtue. Unfortunately the great riches he amassed 
did not correspond well with the austerity of his doctrines, 
yet he died very bravely, in a manner that became a good man 
and a philosopher. 

Sidonius Apollinaris (lived in fifth century a.d.). A native of 
Lyons (Lugdunum) in Gaul, who became Bishop of Clermont. 
He played a considerable part in public affairs during the pain- 
ful period of the Bai-barian conquest, and his poems and letters 
show hira to have been a man of genuine literary culture, who 
did his best to keep alive the old civilization in a very degen- 
erate age. 

Sozomen (lived in fifth century a.d.). A Greek ecclesiastical his- 
torian, probably born near Gaza in Palestine. His History 
of the Church extends from 323 a.d. to 423 a.d. He wrote in 
a good style, and his work is useful for secular as well as for 
merely ecclesiastical history. 

Spartianus (lived in reigns of Diocletian and Constantine.) He 
was said to be the author o'f the Life of Hadrian and several 
other biographies in the so-called Augustan History. These 
essays have a very unequal value, but they give us much per- 
sonal information and many anecdotes about the Emperors. 

Statius (about 61 to 96 a.d., dates uncertain). He was a clever 
and versatile Roman poet, who was at his best during the 


reign of Domitian. His poems cover a wide variety of sub- 
jects, and occasionally show a slight touch of genius ; in the 
main, however, he may be described as talented, but by no 
means great. 

Stiabo. See Biographical Note in Vol. T, page 358. 

Suetonius (lived from reigns of Vespasian to that of Hadrian). 
He was an advocate at Rome, and for a while private secretary 
of Hadrian, then fell into disgrace. His Lives of the Twelve 
Coesars (Julius Csesar to Domitian inclusive) are a series of 
lively biographies in Latin, comparable with the Lives (in 
Greek) by Plutaj-ch. They give personal sketches, not politi- 
cal histories ; but are excellent in style, comparatively careful 
in statement, and one of our chief sources for the early Empire. 

Tacitus (about 60 a.d. to about 120 A.D.). Next to Livy he was 
the greatest Roman historian. He was consul in 97 a.d. and 
a valued friend of Pliny the Younger. To him the establish- 
ment and continuance of the rule of Caesars meant the break- 
ing down of the political prestige of the old Roman families 
to which his interests were linked. With consummate literary 
skill and with great appearance of devotion to truth he wrote 
the story of the Emperors from 14 to 96 a.d. Of this great 
work we only have fragments known as the Annals (Tiberius, 
Claudius, and Nero) and the Histories (telling of the civil 
war following the death of Nero). By a skillful cumulation 
of unfavorable evidence Tacitus draws a most damning in- 
dictment of the Caesarian regime. Most of his charges are 
probably true; but he does not give the Emperors proper 
credit for the good which they undoubtedly wrought in the 
provinces. His Germany is a valuable separate essay. 

Theodoret (about 393 to 457 a.d.). A famous churchman of An- 
tioch who had a prominent part in the ecclesiastical tumults 
of the fifth century. His Ecclesiastical History (from about 
320 to 429 A.D.) is learned and impartial, although often be- 
traying extreme o edulity. It is only one of his many writings 
— mostly theological. 

Vellius Paterculus (lived in reign of Augustus and Tiberius). A 
Roman historian who served on campaigns in Germany, and 


who wrote a short Compendium of Roman History, that is es- 
pecially valuable for the information it gives as to events 
during the reign of Augustus. 

Vergil (70 to 19 b.c). The greatest poet who ever wrote in Latin. 
It is here needful only to remark that the ^Eneid was a mag- 
nificent attempt to glorify Rome and incidently the Julian 
house, by means of a poetic adaptation of the old traditions of 
the founding of the great city by the Tiber. 

Vopiscus (lived about 300 a.d.). One of the authors' contributing 
to the Augustan History; especially he was the author of the 
Life of Aurelian. 


The Ancient "World 

By Professor WILLIS MASON WEST, of the University of Minnesota. 
Forty-one Maps, numerous Illustrations. lamo, hsdi leatiier, 650 pages. 
Price, ^1.50. Also in two volumes : 

Greece and tiie East, izmo, clotli, 2S8 pages. Price, ;J5i.oo. 

Rome and tiie West. i2mo, cloth, 384 pages. Price, jSi.oo. 

THE Ancient World is intended for young students in high 
schools and academies and will be found well within the 
scope of their abilities. 

In general, the author has aimed to emphasize the unity in 
historical development; to show that national life, like indi- 
vidual life, has continuous growth and development, and that a 
knowledge of the past explains the present. Every experiment 
in government in ancient times has its lesson ; and in the hands 
of Professor West history becomes an instrument for teaching 
the duties of modern citizenship. 

Most stress is laid on those periods of history which were most 
important to the development of civilization. In following this 
plan two general features are noteworthy : — 

1. Wars receive little attention. Space is given rather to 
the causes and conditions preceding a war and the results that 
follow it. 

2. Little weight is given to the legendary periods of Greek 
and Roman history, and the space thus gained is devoted to the 
wide-reaching Hellenic world after Alexander, and to the Roman 
Empire which had so deep an influence on later history. 

In every paragraph the leading idea is brought out by italics, 
and illuminating quotations introduce each chapter. 

The book teaches the use of a library by giving specific refer- 
ences to topics for reports. 

The table of contents covers thirty-four pages and gives a 
minute analysis of the book down to the subject of each paragraph. 

There are forty-one maps and plans, which are made the basis 
of study, suggested by questions given in the text. There are 
also ninety-nine illustrations taken from authentic sources. 



Readings in Ancient History: illustrative Extracts 
from the Sources 

By Professor WILLIAM STEARNS DAVIS, of the University of Minne- 
sota ; Introduction by Professor Willis Mason West, of the Univer- 
sity of Minnesota. 

Volume I : Greece and the East. i2mo, cloth, 375 pages. Price, ;^i.oo. 

Volume II : Rome and the West. lamo, cloth, 423 pages. Price, ;^i.oo. 

THIS book sets before the student beginning the study of 
Ancient History a sufficient amount of source material to 
illustrate the important or typical historical facts which will be 
mentioned in his text-book. The volumes are not designed for 
hard study, to be tested scrupulously by minute questioning ; 
they are meant for reading, — a daily companion to any standard 
text in Ancient History, — and the boy or girl so using them is 
sure to breathe in more of the atmosphere of the ancient world, 
and to get more taste of the notable literary flavor pervading 
Greek and Roman history, than would be possible from ihe study 
of a conventional text-book. 

Volume I contains 1 25 different selections, of which the follow- 
ing are typical : The Ethics of an Egyptian Nobleman, Inscrip- 
tion ; An Assyrian Palace, Maspero ; The Shield of Achilles, TAe 
Iliad; How Glaucus tried to tempt the Delphic Oracle, Herodo- 
tus ; The Ring of Poly crates, Herodotus ; How Leonidas held the 
Pass of Thermopylae, Herodotus ; The Last Fight in the Harbor 
of Syracuse, Thucydides; Anecdotes about Socrates, Diogenes 
Laertius; How Lysias escaped from the "Thirty," Lysias; How 
Elephants fought in Hellenistic Armies, Polybius. 

Volume II contains 149 selections, including: Brutus condemns 
his own Sons to Death, Livy ; How the Plebeians won the Con- 
sulship, Livy ; The Honesty of Roman Officials, Polybius ; The 
Reign of Terror under Sulla, Plutarch; The Wealth and Habits 
of Crassus the Millionaire, Plutarch; The Personal Traits of 
Julius Caesar, Suetonius; A Business Panic in Rome, Tacitus; 
The Bill of Fare of a Great Roman Banquet, Macrobius ; How a 
Stoic met Calamity in the Days of Nero, Epictelus ; The Precepts 
of Marcus Aureliua, Marcus Aurelius. 



Modern History: From Charlemagne to the Present 

By Professor Willis M. West. With thirty-nine Maps and numerous 
Illustrations. lamo, half leather, 673 pages. Price, ;?i.So. 

THIS volume, beginning where the author's Ancient Worla 
ends, shows the development of the various forces which 
the ancient world had brought together and which had been par- 
tially welded in the empire of Charlemagne. In time it covers 
eleven centuries ; but as much space is given to the last hundred 
years as to the preceding thousand. 

Beginning with the outbreak of the momentous French Revo- 
lution, the book is remarkably full ; for the author believes it 
wise to treat with comparative briefness the ephemeral phases 
of the Middle Ages in order to gain adequate space for a full 
treatment of the marvellous nineteenth century, and so for an 
intelligent introduction to the twentieth. 

Moreover, the book is noteworthy in the large share of attention 
given to the most recent history. To stop the history of Europe 
at 1871 is to leave the pupil in the rear of the world of to-day 
much farther than is ordinarily represented by a human lifetime. 
Since that date a new Germany, a new Italy, a new and stable 
French Republic have been created, through the principles of 
democracy and iiationality. The growth of these principles, their 
struggle with the divine right monarchies, and final victory, are 
described in vivid language. To put the student in touch with 
the recent movements in politics and in society is the business of 
the high school course in history. 

The present revision has been brought down to September, 

The book contains thirty-nine maps, mostly colored, and sev- 
enty-eight illustrations. There are copious references for further 
reading, topics for special reports, and review exercises. The 
foot-notes supply a running comment on the text — short quota- 
tions from eminent authorities or interesting facts called up by 
the narrative. There is also a useful classified bibliography. 



History of England 

By Professor CHARLES M. Andrews, of Yale University. With 
seventeen Maps, chronological and genealogical Tables, and numer- 
ous Illustrations. i2mo, half leather, 608 pages. Price, $1.50. 

AN important feature of this history is the definite method of 
presentation. At the beginning of each period the author 
briefly outlines the character and the tendencies of the time. 
He then elaborates this outline, and before leaving the subject 
summarizes it in a few brief sentences. 

The book teaches that the achievements of the English people 
have been solid and enduring, not dramatic and sensational, and 
concern the more peaceful aspects of human existence — govern- 
ment, legislation, agriculture, industry, commerce, and finance — 
quite as much as the stirring scenes of land battles and sea 
fights. To quote the author: "History to-day has got rid of 
much of the stage thunder that passed current in the older nar- 
ratives. It points to the industry that underlies wealth, and to 
the wealth that makes military success possible. It lays stress 
upon the national or social conditions that render the great stat- 
ute or legislative act necessary, and upon the pressure of food or 
population and the spurring of religious conviction that urge men 
to brave the sea and undertake colonization. It calls attention 
to the deep significance of peasants' rebellions, religious revivals, 
and industrial revolutions in preparing the way for the rise of 
democracy and the transformation of the social life of a nation." 

The book contains seventeen maps ; a large number of genea- 
logical tables ; seventy-four well-executed illustrations taken from 
authentic sources ; a facsimile of a section of the Magna Carta ; 
and reproductions of drawings on early manuscripts. 

A carefully selected list of books that will be useful in any 
school library, a detailed chronological table, and bibliographies 
covering the best and most recent works, add to the usefulness of 
the history. 

The book has numerous foot-notes which refer definitely to 
original sources by volume and page number. 



A Short History of England 

By Charles M. Andrews, of Yale University. With Maps, Tables, 
and numerous Illustrations. i2mo, half leather, 473 pages. Price, 

THIS history of England aims to present within the compass 
of about 400 pages the main features of England's story from 
earliest times to the present day. The book traces in rapid sur- 
vey the development of the people and institutions of England 
from Anglo-Saxon times to the close of the year 191 1, and shows 
by what steps the primitive organization of a semi-tribal people has 
been transformed into the highly complicated political and social 
structure of the United Kingdom and the British Empire. It re- 
tains on a smaller scale the essential characteristics of the larger 
work by the same author, with some additions, chiefly of a 
geographical and biographical character, and many omissions 
of details. 

The author tells a clear and simple story, avoiding technical 
expressions and yet passing over no important feature of the 
history that is necessary for the -proper understanding of the 

The aim of the book is to be instructive as well as interesting. 
The narrative is made as continuous as possible, that the pupil 
may follow in unbroken sequence the thread of the story. It is 
accompanied with a large number of newly selected illustrations 
and an ample supply of maps and chronological tables. The 
elaborate bibliographies contained in the larger work have been y 
omitted and only a small but selective list of the best books in 
brief form has been retained. The history has been brought 
down to date in matters of scholarship as well as chronology, and 
contains many views and statements not to be found in the larger 
work. It is designed as a text-book for half-year, or elementary 
courses, but it might well be used by any reader desiring a 
brief and suggestive account of the main features of England's 



History of the United States 

By the late Charles K. Adams, and Professor W. P. Trent, of 
Columbia University. i2mo, half leather, 630 pages. Price, 

THE authors have laid the stress on the two crises of Ameri- 
can history — the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. 
They have treated both these periods very fiolly, and have en- 
deavored in the case of the first to present the side of Great 
Britain with fairness, while, at the same time, bringing out the 
necessity of the struggle, and the bravery and wisdom oi the 
American patriots. In dealing with the period of the Civil War 
they have aimed to give the Southern side with sympathy and, 
while upholding the cause of the Union, have sought to avoid 
recrimination, and to give each side credit for its sincerity and 
bravery. The other periods of our history have not been unduly 
subordinated to the great crises, but have been so treated as 
to lead up to them. The process of the making of the Consti- 
tution and the various developments in its interpretation have 
been fully studied. While emphasis has necessarily been laid 
on the political and military features of our history, the social, 
industrial, scientific, and literary development of the country has 
been given due space. 

The following are some of the special features of the book : 

Thirty-five maps, of which eighteen are colored. 

Two hundred and three illustrations, reproduced from authentic 
sources. Especial care has been taken to include the best pos- 
sible portraits of eminent men. Some of these were taken from 
private collections and have not been published before. 

A full chronological table. 

Foot-notes which describe the lives of persons mentioned in 
the text, in order that the narrative shall not be interrupted at 
the appearance of each new name. 

The great development of the United States during the past 
decade makes it imperative that an adequate history be kept up 
to date. The present edition covers the period to January, 1909, 
and contains a full account of the chief events of President 
Roosevelt's administrations.